HRNSW launches exciting new Carnival of Cups program

29 August 2023

Harness Racing New South Wales’ annual Carnival of Cups program is being reimagined with a blockbuster entertainment offering laying the trackside soundtrack to a $300,000 bonus prizemoney incentive scheme.

Five iconic locations will play host to the reformatted concept, to be launched in the state’s west in November. The selected venues and dates are:
  • Cowra – 12 November, 2023
  • Young – 1 December, 2023
  • Tamworth – 26 January, 2024
  • Albury – 16 February, 2024
  • Goulburn – 28 April, 2024
HRNSW is partnering with each host club to breathe new life into the Carnival of Cups format, with some of Australia’s most prominent bands and performers signed to provide entertainment during and after the race meeting.
The schedule will launch in Cowra with multiple award-winning band The Whitlams co-headlining the trackside entertainment with Australian music luminary Daryl Braithwaite. They will be supported by chart-topping country quartet Darlinghurst.
That is in addition to a supersized bonus prizemoney incentive scheme, with the pool increasing in value across the five-legs of the Carnival of Cups series.
Horses that win all, or part of, the races determined to be Carnival of Cups Bonus Races will be eligible for the following:
  • For any three (3) races, a bonus of $100,000 will be paid
  • For any four (4) races, a bonus of $200,000 will be paid
  • For all five (5) races, a bonus of $300,000 will be paid
Following extensive industry consultation, amendments have also been made to the eligibility criteria for Carnival of Cups races. Under the new rules:
  • All races will be conducted for National Ratings (NR) up to 120
  • There is no requirement for horses to be trained in NSW
  • There is no requirement for a horse to be bred in NSW, or Australia
“These are incredibly exciting announcements and present fantastic opportunities for the industry and our participants here in New South Wales,” HRNSW Chief Executive Peter Buckman said.
“We’re going to see the best in the business when it comes to Australian music anthems right on our doorstep and that’s all going to be complemented by elite racing on regional tracks with more than $1 million in prizemoney going into the pockets of each stakeholder group of our industry.
“This has all come about after taking on board feedback from the industry and our participants and coming up with a format that we’re confident is going to promote and grow our racing product in front of a big and diverse crowd of new and regular harness racing enthusiasts.
“And the best thing is, it’s all free. You’ll need to register for a ticket but it won’t cost you a cent to come along. We’ll be progressively announcing the names of the bands we’ve signed for each venue so I’d encourage everyone to get on the Carnival of Cups website and register for a ticket as soon as they’re available because these are going to be unique race experiences you won’t want to miss out on.”
The free tickets will be available after completing the registration process on the Carnival of Cups website at
Keep an eye on the HRNSW social media pages for updates on release dates.