TWO Upper Hunter charities are in line to pocket a $5000 windfall, thanks to the TAB Editors’ Challenge.
Fairfax Media Upper Hunter editor Rod Thompson has nominated the Where There’s A Will Foundation and the Red Door Community Kitchen as his “recipients” if successful in April.
And, Mr Thompson boasts an excellent record in the competition, having won the previous two challenges.
“The pressure is on a bit,” he admitted.
“The Cancer Council, courtesy of Artlee’s triumph, claimed the spoils in 2015 and, last year, Clearly Innocent passed the post on behalf of the Aberdeen Men’s Shed.
“Both organisations were very appreciative of the gesture from the Muswellbrook Chronicle and The Scone Advocate respectively.
“I’m fairly lucky though – being smack bang in the middle of the horse racing capital of Australia.
“So, bragging rights will again be at stake in 2017.
“I’m hoping our readers support ‘their’ horse to land the Final, too.
“If the Advocate’s galloper wins, Where There’s A Will Foundation will benefit handsomely.
“Or, if the Chronicle’s ‘hope’ prevails, the honour falls upon the Red Door Community Kitchen.”
The 2017 TAB Country and Provincial Championships Editors’ Challenge started last Sunday when the $150,000 Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) jumped at Grafton.
The TAB Editors’ Challenge was launched in 2015 and generated remarkable interest around NSW through both the media and the public.
Relevant newspaper editors were invited to “support their local horses” that were heading to Royal Randwick to compete in both finals.
“The Editors’ Challenge was quickly embraced in 2015 and is a win-win for all concerned,” Racing NSW’s chief executive Peter V’landys AM said.
“The Country and Provincial media have supported the Challenge through their newspapers and it gives locals a horse to cheer home in the Finals at Royal Randwick while benefitting their respective charities.”
TAB was keen to register its support for the Editors’ Challenge and sponsored both regional Finals whereby the newspaper whose horse won the region’s heat would represent the local community in the Final, with the editor nominating a deserving local charity.
In 2016, TAB gave $5000 to the two Final winners (as well as $500 to the winless charities).
“The TAB Editors’ Challenge was such a success last year that we were very excited to be involved again in 2017,” TAB’s chief operating officer-wagering and media Craig Nugent said.
“It was really embraced by the editors in the Country and Provincial areas and it’s great to see regional NSW continue to become such a big part of The Championships.”
The 2017 The Championships will take place on Saturdays, April 1 and 8, at Royal Randwick, where the 12 grand finals of Australian thoroughbred racing will be centre stage incorporating eight Group One events as well as the third running of the Provincial and Country Championships Finals.
Updates on the TAB Country and Provincial Championships Editors’ Challenge will appear at thechampionships.com.au