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Huge Month Of Racing Ahead For Ballina

By Geoff Newling Ballina Jockey Club is gearing up for a busy November. The BJC has three meetings in November, beginning with a seven-race TAB meeting on Monday (6 November) – the day before the Melbourne Cup. BJC chief executive officer, Matt Bertram, said that meeting also has its own staying test, a 2650m benchmark 65 handicap, to highlight the club’s first meeting since the highly successful Ballina Cup meeting. “It’s always a good day,” Matt Bertram said. “Used to be a stand-alone day for us too but this year Corowa is also racing on the Monday. That’s okay, we are gearing up for a big day and will hopefully get some good fields. I imagine Grafton will be knocked over by nominations (club received 185 noms for Tuesday’s eight race TAB meeting) and hopefully that flows on to us the week after.” Bertram said his track wasn’t as affected by the recent heavy rain as Murwillumbah and Lismore and said it was a Good 5 at the moment. “It’s a busy time for us with three meetings in November and then a build up to a big Boxing Day meeting. We have a couple of meetings in December and January as well and it doesn’t stop until March.” The BJC is also “treading water” at the moment with its multi million track redevelopment. Its DA has been approved by local council and it’s now waiting the go ahead from Racing NSW to just what the budget might allow. Figures range from a basic $6 million facelift to a full $9 million redevelopment providing grass and sand tracks. It just depends on how much Racing NSW can spend on the infrastructure,” Matt Bertram said. Meanwhile, local trainers Stephen Lee, Terry McCarthy and Gary Nielsen could all be racing in Tuesday’s $20,000 Jacca Prelude (1106m). The race drew 20 nominations on a day where the Clarence River Jockey Club had 185 nominations. Ballina trainer Stephen Lee has nominated Hydrazine and Voltaire Lumiere, Liasmore’s Gary Nielsen has Ms Ba Bella entered an emperor Of Oz could return from a spell for Ballina’s Terry McCarthy.

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