The 2016 Ascot Racing Carnival will be transformed by the introduction of the $3 million TABtouch Masters, a world-first event set to become a major feature of Australia’s racing and events calendar and deliver a significant economic boost for Western Australia.
Kicking off on Saturday 19 November, The TABtouch Masters will make Ascot the first racecourse anywhere in the world to stage a Group One race worth at least $1 million on three consecutive Saturdays.
The iconic event is expected to see over $3 million in on-course bets placed across the three days, with an anticipated 25,000 racegoers coming through the gates at Ascot Racecourse.
Almost 10 per cent of those are expected to come from interstate, delivering a key boost to Perth hotels, restaurants and retail outlets.
Perth Racing Chairman, Mr Neil Pinner said the TABtouch Masters would deliver not only three super Saturdays of high-quality racing, but also a new highlight for WA’s social and entertainment calendar.
“We are committed to bringing a world-class iconic event to Perth that will re-establish the Ascot Racing Carnival as a major national and international racing drawcard,” Mr Pinner said.
“The TABtouch Masters will appeal to the racing purists by showcasing some of Australia’s best thoroughbreds, but also to a wider audience who can experience the many attractions that make horse racing one of country’s most popular sports – and that will include not only the races themselves, but headline musical acts, fashion on the field events and the best in WA produce and hospitality.
“Perth Racing believes the TABtouch Masters will have a significant impact for the West Australian economy, with the influx in interstate visitors a boost for hotels, restaurants, transport and of course retail, with all the required finery of new dresses, fascinators and suits that comes with a day at the races.”
The TABtouch Masters is also expected to attract Australia’s best horses to travel to Perth to compete in the three-day program, which will feature the James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes, Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes and Perth Racing-Kingston Town Classic.
The Railway Stakes is Perth’s oldest Group One race, the Winterbottom Stakes is Australia’s last Group One sprint of the year, and the Kingston Town Classic is the richest Group One 1800-metre race in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mr Pinner said Perth Racing was making a significant contribution to the event by helping to get the best horses to Perth.
“The class of the fields and the quality of the horses is paramount if the TABtouch Masters is to be recognised as a premier global racing event,” he said.
“Perth’s racing followers have been fortunate over the years in seeing some of the greats of Australian turf, including Better Loosen Up, Buffering, Miss Andretti, Northerly, Ortensia, Takeover Target, Vo Rogue and course, Kingston Town at Ascot.
“We recognise that the cost of bringing interstate horses to Perth is considerable, and we will be putting in place an incentive scheme to remove that barrier and ensure we continue to see the best battle it out in Perth.”
Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) CEO Richard Burt said TABtouch was proud to sponsor The Masters, and support the solid promotion of Western Australia’s thoroughbred racing premium product.
“RWWA’s increased investment in Group One stakes in 2015 and sponsorship of The Masters demonstrates our commitment to the broader strategy to increase the profile, attendance rates and commercial benefit of feature races in Western Australia,” he said.
The TABtouch Masters program will also showcase the best of WA regional racing, with the launch of the inaugural Regional Championships.
The Regional Championship races will be run at Geraldton (12 November), Mt Barker (13 November), Northam (17 November) and Bunbury (20 November), before the final at Ascot Racecourse on Winterbottom Stakes Day.
All Group One races will be broadcast live on the Seven Network in WA, in a first for the Club.
Admission to Ascot ranges between $5.00 and $35.00 per person, with tickets and hospitality available from perthracing.com.au
About The TABtouch Masters
- The TABtouch Masters will form a major highlight of the Ascot Racing Carnival, which runs from Saturday 15 October and finishes with the Perth Cup on Saturday 31 December.
- The TABtouch Masters will make history when Ascot becomes the first racecourse in the world to stage a Group One race worth at least $1 million on three consecutive Saturdays.
- The TABtouch Masters and its three Group One racedays will be the new highlight of Western Australia’s diversified racing and events calendar.
- The TABtouch Masters is expected to attract more than 25,000 racegoers to Ascot over the three days. Around 10% are expected to come from interstate.
- The TABtouch Masters has attracted around $1 million in commercial partnership revenue.
- Over $3 million in on-course bets are expected to be placed.
- Restaurants, bars and trackside marquees at Ascot will see over 500 dozen oysters freshly shucked and more than 2,000 bottles of wine and champagne
poured over the three days.