The Illawarra Mercury Gong Raceday – This Saturday

The Illawarra’s own $1 million race, The Illawarra Mercury Gong, will be the highlight for racing enthusiasts at next Saturday’s Gong Raceday but fashions, food and entertainment mean there will be something trackside for everyone.

“Illawarra Turf Club looks forward to closing out the Racing NSW Spring Carnival with The Gong Raceday on November 25. This year’s race will be the The Illawarra Mercury Gong and is the highlight of a strong 10-race card,” said Steven Keene, Illawarra Turf Club’s CEO.

Riodini and Tim Clark take out last year’s The Gong at Kembla Grange. Image by Bradley Photographers

“The Illawarra community has been right behind the Million Dollar race since it’s inception, and this has been further highlighted by the partnership with the Illawarra Mercury.”

The program for the day includes the $1 million Illawarrra Mercury Gong, The Warra, a TAB Highway, a Midway and 6 supporting races with a total prize pool of $2.5 million.

Illawarra Turf Club is honoured to have invited the Wollongong City Council Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Tania Brown to strike the gong, signifying the start of the running of the $1m Illawarra Mercury Gong race.

Steven Keene said: “It is great to have such a well respected local identity such as Tania hit the gong this year. This really ties into the local theme as the club has used Alex Volkanovski and Robert Price in the past.”

Tania is Wollongong born and bred, growing up just north of Kembla Grange Racecourse in Unanderra. She has raised her family here and works at the University of Wollongong.

The Little Gong precinct will again be a feature of the Gong Raceday with a series of pop-up bars and food trucks and a entertainment.

Adding to the fun off track is the running of the fashions stakes. Once again Pamela O’Brien, of Locopa Designs is coordinating the best dressed competitions with over $12,000 in prizes up for grabs across the best dressed man, best dressed lady & millinery categories.

“Judges will be looking for entrants that have considered all aspects of their outfit while considering what is appropriate for spring,” said Pamela O’Brien. “It is always a fantastic competition on the Gong Raceday, one which we look forward to every year.”

General admission tickets, which include entry to The Little Gong, can be purchased from

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