Territory Thoroughbred Racing’s Ladbrokes Triple Crown will undertake a significant change in 2023.
The Ladbrokes Triple Crown has to date been the domain of three-year-olds attempting to win the three major Carnival features – Darwin Guineas, Ladbrokes NT Derby and Great Northern Darwin Cup – in the same year.
Only two horses have ever achieved the treble, Brinney in 1989 and Ventilago in 1996.
But for the first time in over 40 years, the Triple Crown will open up to all-aged gallopers and be renamed the Ladbrokes Territory Treble, with the $100,000 bonus on offer to the connections of the horse which can win the Ladbrokes Alice Springs Cup (Sunday 30April), Chief Minister’s Cup (Saturday 15 July) and the Great Northern Darwin Cup on Monday 7 August.
“History has proven It is extremely difficult to have a three-year-old take on the older horses in the Darwin Cup and to extend over the 2050m distance,” Ladbrokes Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement Karl deKroo said.
“We viewed this change as a great opportunity to revitalise the concept and increase the probability for the bonus to go off. It is also a chance for Ladbrokes to underline our commitment to the sustainability and growth of racing in the Territory.
“This new concept still provides a significant challenge to win all three Cups, but it feels far more achievable and has the added benefit of engaging both the Red Centre and Top End. It is to be hoped that Darwin Cup-bound horses will now also place the Ladbrokes Alice Springs Cup on the agenda – it has the potential to provide a very exciting climax to the Darwin Cup Carnival.”
Last year’s Chief Minister’s Cup winner Playoffs went on to win the Darwin Cup but did not run in Alice Springs, while Pretty Blonde back in 2014 won both Alice and Darwin Cups, but ran down the track in the Chief Minister’s.
Darwin Turf Club CEO Grant Dewsbury added that the likelihood of the Treble, under the previous criteria, was an “outside chance”, but now becomes a very real possibility with the three Cups up for grabs with horses all focused in lead-up preparations for the Darwin Cup.
“This is a great new concept and will only add to an already exciting Darwin Cup Carnival and one which could see only the third horse in history taking out the $100,000 bonus,” Dewsbury said.
“We appreciate the flexibility Ladbrokes have shown to support this concept, which really serves to strengthen the carnivals both in Darwin and Alice Springs.”
Alice Springs Turf Club Chair Andrew Maloney added that he welcomed the involvement of the ASTC in the revised Triple Crown concept.
“It builds upon an already strong relationship between the two major NT Clubs and continues the association with Ladbrokes as our Major Sponsor and supporter”, Maloney said.
Ladbrokes also announced it has agreed to terms on a two-year deal to become the official wagering partner and naming rights sponsor of the Territory’s three country venues, Adelaide River, Katherine and Tennant Creek. Ladbrokes signage will adorn the three country tracks and the deal will allow the country club Cups to each be worth $30,000 in 2023, with this figure expected to increase in the coming years.
Thoroughbred Racing NT Chief Executive Andrew O’Toole said: “Ladbrokes have been fantastic to work with on this project, and we are delighted that they have agreed to support our country venues, which are so important to the lifeblood of Territory racing.
“We look forward to the roll-out in advance of the first country club meeting this year, at Tennant Creek, in mid-May.”
It continues Ladbrokes recent increased investment in the Territory, which has included a commitment to offer 20 new job placements in Alice Springs, complementing its established workforce in Darwin.
“Ladbrokes is proudly licenced in the NT and we definitely view it as part of our charter to put back into NT communities,” deKroo said. “We were in Alice Springs last week where we have advertised 20 remote positions in our customer support team, and we see our investment into Adelaide River, Katherine and Tennant Creek in a similar light. These racetracks and in particular the Cup days are important community events that bring people together and we want to help ensure their ongoing viability.”