Scone Race Club CEO Heath Courtney embracing major milestone, an exciting initiative and increased prizemoney for showpiece event in 2020

Racing into another big season

A MAJOR milestone, an exciting initiative and an increase in prizemoney for its showpiece event - it's all happening at the Scone Race Club (SRC) this year.

In 2020, the organisation will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its two-day extravaganza as a metropolitan, and stand-alone, carnival.

SRC chief executive officer Heath Courtney said it was a "great achievement" for everyone, past and present.

"To uphold it for 10 years is fantastic," he explained.

"And, it's a credit to the club as well as the former committee members, such as Noel Leckie, the CEOs and the secretaries.

"We can't forget the support of our major partners and sponsors, along with the local trainers and jockeys, either.

"It shows just how much the carnival means to the Upper Hunter."

The Scone Cup receives a $20,000 boost from $180,000 to $200,000 in 2020, as does the Dark Jewel Classic.

The club will also host a $50,000 Country Magic race, which is restricted to country-trained horses.

"It's a slight rise but we still boast $2 million [in prizemoney] over the carnival," Courtney said.

"That's unheard of in a country area, even though we're deemed 'metropolitan'.

"Again, a huge thanks go to our loyal band of supporters.

"We wouldn't be where we are without them."

Courtney said SRC was geared up for another big season.

Meetings are scheduled for January 30, March 16, April 6 and 21 in the coming months.

"Racing-wise, it's already started strongly," he told the Advocate.

"We've also taken on meetings for drought-affected clubs.

"To be honest, we're going through tough times with water, pretty much like everyone else.

"We have to pay for it, with assistance from Upper Hunter Shire Council.

"But, our main focus is the Scone Cup Carnival on May 15 and 16.

"So far, everything is shaping up well.

"We're adopting a Roaring Twenties-Gatsby theme, too, to make it a real social event.

"And, I hope people embrace the fun and theatre of it all.

"We want to offer patrons something different.

"The concept's been well-received to date.

"So, now is the time to get your outfit together."