Racing SA has announced next year’s Oakbank Carnival will carry $1m in stakes and bonuses after confirming the end of jumps racing in the state.
More than $1m in prizemoney and bonuses will be on offer during a revamped Oakbank racing carnival in 2022.
Last week Racing SA announced that it would be doing away with jumps racing in the state due to decreasing field sizes and waning participation.
That news dealt a serious blow to the famous Oakbank carnival which has been synonymous with jumps racing, highlighted by three iconic events, the Great Eastern, Von Doussa and Harry D. Young.
But while jumps racing won’t feature at Oakbank in 2022, Racing SA has announced a number of key initiatives for the carnival which returns to its traditional Easter Saturday and Easter Monday slot.
The new schedule for the two-day carnival will see participants race for enhanced prizemoney on the all flat program which will now include several trainer and jockey bonuses.
“This programming has been developed to entice more owners and trainers to be part of the Oakbank Easter Carnival with the chance to compete for significant prize money,” Racing SA chief executive Nick Redin said.
“The change has their interests in mind, and ensures Oakbank has several races which will provide a springboard into our feature Adelaide Racing Carnival.
“The trainer bonuses which have been introduced are designed to reward trainers who have horses which win at Oakbank and then go on to have success in our autumn Group and Listed races.”
Included in the key carnival changes will be a surge in stakemoney for the Listed Hills Railway Stakes (1100m) from $102,250 to $127,750.
Two 1400m races have been added to the Easter Saturday program which will carry prizemoney of $107,250 while a series of cash bonuses will be available for trainers whose horses go on to have success across Adelaide’s autumn racing period, with a further $110,000 on offer.
In what’s been a turbulent time for the Oakbank Racing Club, Chair Arabella Branson said the programming changes and bonuses provided a chance to create new history at Oakbank.
“We’re excited Oakbank will be scheduled as a true Easter Carnival once again next year with racing on both Easter Saturday and Easter Monday,” Branson said.
“The club is delighted to be able to introduce bonuses for the best performing participants across the Carnival, while also supporting local Adelaide Hills sporting and recreational clubs through the introduction of a Community Cup race.
“We’re working closely with Racing SA on a number of other new initiatives which will be announced in the coming months to reinvigorate the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival in 2022 and beyond.”
Originally published as Racing SA unveil more than $1m in prizemoney and bonuses for Oakbank Carnival