IDEAL TYPE: Free Standing went from Coffs Harbour to win The Country Championship last year.
IDEAL TYPE: Free Standing went from Coffs Harbour to win The Country Championship last year. Martin King / Sportpix

Racing's mountain top

HUGE prize money and an opportunity for racing fans to become intimately involved will flow from the introduction of new race The Kosciuszko.

With $1.3 million on offer, the world's richest country race will now be held on Everest Day at Royal Randwick.

It will be restricted to NSW country-trained horses who will get a chance to compete on the biggest day of racing in Australia with more than $16 million on offer.

Through a joint venture promotion with the Australian Hotels Association, Tabcorp and Racing NSW, members of the public will be able to buy $5 tickets to win a chance to own a part share in a horse for The Kosciuszko race.

Tickets in the Kosciuszko promotion will be exclusively sold at all NSW AHA hotels that feature a TAB outlet and may be purchased at the electronic betting terminals in the same way as a normal TAB ticket.

Also, selected hotels will have dedicated eftpos terminals to exclusively sell Kosciuszko tickets.

There will be 12 winning tickets drawn.

Each winning ticket holder will then have an entry in The Kosciuszko and can select a NSW country-trained horse to race in their entry, subject to agreeing with the horse's owners as to how they will share the prize money for the race.

Racing NSW can assist the winning ticket holders in identifying horses for selection.

Tickets in the promotion went on sale last Thursday and the draw will be held on September 14.

NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole said the race is a great way to showcase NSW country-trained horses.

"It gives them the chance to compete at one of Australia's biggest days and I congratulate Racing NSW on this exciting new initiative to support regional racing,” he said.

"With the recent success of The Everest and The Championships, the NSW racing industry continues to go from strength to strength.”

Lion Beer Australia will be sponsoring The Kosciuszko race in association with its beer brand which shares the same name.

Racing NSW will also be contributing $125,000 from the sale of tickets in The Kosciuszko promotion to the Aussie Helpers charity to support NSW farmers.

The Kosciuszko will be run over 1200m with set weights and penalties.

Eligibility will be restricted to horses trained in Country NSW as at July 18.

One of the most exciting prospects is the possibility of a horse from Coffs Harbour going on to win an event like this.

In 2017, local trainer Cathleen Rode was the toast of the Northern Rivers Racing Association when she won the Country Championship with outsider Free Standing.

At the same time as the announcement of the new event, Racing NSW has announced prize money increases that will have country connections grinning.

From September, TAB Highway races will be worth $75,000, a rise of $15,000 per race.

In addition all Country TAB events will now carry a minimum purse of $22,000, a rise of 10 per cent on the current figure.