The Ladbrokes Summer Racing Festival – that will feature all three codes of racing over 27 race days – has been officially launched.
The 2023/24 festival has been extended slightly and will officially commence with the state's premier thoroughbred sprint race, the Newmarket Handicap on Wednesday 29 November 2023, and finish with the Tasmania Cup for the harness code on Saturday 3 March 2024.
It will include the 150th running of the Ladbrokes Hobart Cup, and also the Ladbrokes Devonport and Launceston Cups for thoroughbreds and the Ladbrokes Hobart Thousand for greyhounds.
Tasracing CEO Andrew Jenkins said he welcomed Ladbrokes' ongoing involvement as the naming rights partner of the festival and key races.
"The Ladbrokes $100,000 Double Cup Connections Bonus and The Ladbrokes $100,000 Triple Treat Connections Bonus for greyhounds show how we are working together to create new levels of excitement and interest in the festival," he said.
"The highly successful Ladbrokes Carpet Charge (won last year by Roseberry Athletics Club) has been extended for this festival to Hobart and Launceston Cup days to become the Ladbrokes Community Sports Series.
"Local sporting clubs will be invited to enter a draw to be selected to have a horse running in their name on each cup race day.
"The total prize pool for each race will be $25,000, with the winning club receiving $10,000. It gives sporting and community clubs, that often survive on volunteers, the opportunity to win $10.000 if their horse wins which can make a real difference for small clubs."
Mr Jenkins said all parts of the state would feature in the festival.
"They include Group race days in our cities and country race days on King Island, at Longford, St Marys, Scottsdale, Burnie and Carrick," he said.
"This is yet another good news story arising out of the festival at a time when we are strongly focused on promoting Tasmanian racing to a national market."
Mr Jenkins said while national exposure for summer racing was extremely important to the Tasmanian racing industry, it was also important to generate local support through crowds at race days that showcase the racecourse experience.
"Showcasing Tasmania as a fun racing destination for groups and focussing on the entertainment aspect of our events is also a critical part of what we are aiming to achieve," he said.
"We are positioning ourselves as a place for everyone with excellent racing and hospitality options."
The festival's ambassadors will be AFL Premiership player Campbell Brown (an avid Tasmanian racegoer and punter) and Grace Hayden who will work to promote the fashion and glamour side of the festival's race days.
Tickets will be on sale from Friday 24 November via www.goracingtasmania.com.au