03 Jul 2014
Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing
The Carlton Mid Darwin Cup Carnival is off and racing for another year after Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Matt Conlan officially opened the iconic event at the Darwin Turf Club tonight.
“The Darwin Cup Carnival is one of the biggest events on the Territory’s calendar and 2014 promises to be another action-packed affair, both on and off the track,” said Mr Conlan.
“It’s a time of the year when the eyes of the nation are upon us as Darwin takes centre stage.
“The four-week long Carnival kicks off this Saturday with the Hot 100 Darwin Guineas and culminates with the running of the Carlton Mid $200,000 Darwin Cup on Monday 4 August.
“This year’s carnival is expected to attract 43,000 racegoers over eight days of fantastic racing featuring some of the best thoroughbreds in the land.
“The 58th running of the Darwin Cup Carnival will see more than $1.9 million in trophies and prize money up for grabs and once again some of the biggest names in the sport descend on Darwin such as Peter Moody, Gai Waterhouse and David Hayes.
“With many visitors travelling to Darwin from interstate, the Territory economy is the big winner of the Carnival with the event injecting around $50 million into the local businesses.
“The Darwin Cup Carnival is also a big favourite of locals, which is why the Northern Territory Government continues to support the industry through $14.7 million in annual funding to Thoroughbred Racing NT.
“And this year there is even more opportunity to take advantage of all the action at the track with an all new Carnival Pass, which allows entry to all eight race days for $99.
“Whether it is a day at the races or a night out at many of the social events throughout the Carnival, it’s a great time to spend with family and friends and enjoy our unique Territory lifestyle.
“This year will also be an opportunity to pause and remember much-loved and respected jockey, Simone Montgomerie, who died in a tragic race fall on Darwin Cup day last year. In a tribute to Simone, this year’s Lightning Plate race on Darwin Cup day will be renamed the Montgomerie Lightning Plate in Simone’s honour.
“Congratulations to the Darwin Turf Club Committee, Management and Staff for all their efforts in putting on the Carnival, and also to the sponsors who are such an integral part of the success of the month-long extravaganza.
“I hope everyone enjoys this year’s Darwin Cup Carnival and backs a winner.”
Media Contact: Lisa Andrews 0401 579 963