Following the successful partnership between Newhaven Park, the Australian Turf Club and Racing NSW in 2017, Newhaven Park is proud to announce that it will remain the named sponsor of ‘Country Championships Final’ for the next three years.


“It is just awesome! The country championships fairy-tale captures the hearts and minds of all racing people. It gives grass roots racing folk a chance to compete on the biggest stage. We just wanted to be a part of it!”, stated John Kelly.


In addition, Newhaven Park’s Kelly family will be hosting a cocktail party, each year, for all competitors and connections at their famous watering-hole, The Doncaster Hotel at Randwick on the eve of the Final.


The Country Championships offers $1.6 million in prizemoney and was developed to include horses trained in country areas in the Sydney Autumn Carnival. The series, which commences Sunday 18 February at Port Macquarie, includes: seven qualifying races worth $150,000; a ‘Wild Card’ race of $50,000 and a $500,000 Country Championships Final.


The 2017 Country Championships Final witnessed enormous support from all corners of New South Wales and succeeded in bringing the heart of country racing to the city. The Final was won by the $31 outsider Free Standing in a fairy-tale finish for Coffs Harbour trainer, Cathleen Rode.


About Newhaven Park

Newhaven Park is one of Australia’s leading thoroughbred nurseries based in Boorowa, NSW and is ran by the fourth-generation of the Kelly family. The stud farm is synonymous with the Golden Slipper, having bred four winners as well as being associated with an additional 17 individual winners or place getters throughout the history of Australia’s infamous juvenile race.


In addition, Newhaven Park has bred over 50 Group One winners. The honours list includes: English, Peeping, Zac Spirit, Wylie Hall and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner, Unencumbered, along with champions such as Absolute Champion, Grand Armee, Wenona Girl, Research, Encounter, Assertive Lass and Arborea


About ‘The Country Championships’


Launched in 2015, the inaugural Country Championships proved a resounding success for the racing industry and generated unprecedented interest and coverage. An initiative of Racing NSW and supported by the NSW Government, The Country Championships was created to support and promote NSW racing in country areas, ensuring that horses from across the state are part of The Championships series in Sydney in the autumn.

The Country Championships consists of a series of seven qualifying races, each held at a club representing one racing region in NSW. Each race will be worth $150,000 in prize money, and will be contested by eligible horses that must be under the care of a country trainer in that region.

An eighth ‘Wild Card’ race, worth $50,000, will be held to provide an additional opportunity for horses to qualify for the final that have already contested an earlier heat.

The first and second horse in each regional race earns their place in the $500,000 Country Championships final to be held at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Day 1 of The Championships, Saturday 7 April, 2018.

The first qualifying race is at Port Macquarie on Sunday 18 February, 2018



Sunday, 18 February 2018 PORT MACQUARIE 1200m Mid North Coast
Saturday, 24 February 2018 GOULBURN 1400m South East
Sunday, 25 February 2018 MUDGEE 1400m Central Districts
Sunday 4 March 2018 WAGGA WAGGA 1400m Southern Districts
Sunday, 11 March 2018 GRAFTON 1400m Northern Rivers
Sunday, 18 March 2018 SCONE 1400m Hunter & North West
Sunday, 25 March 2018 DUBBO 1400m Western
Sunday 1 April 2018 MUSWELLBROOK 1280m Wildcard – All regions
Saturday, 7 April 2018 ROYAL RANDWICK 1400m FINAL
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