By Mark Brassel
Two popular race meetings to the north and south of NSW will be a key focus in this week’s lead-up to Christmas with Thursday’s Goulburn meeting and Lismore’s Friday program.
Lismore’s Christmas Cup meeting draws a large crowd with their famous ‘Christmas Seafood Lunch’ one of the main attractions.
“It’s the perfect end of year get-together with plenty of options to celebrate the end of the working year,” said Lismore Turf Club’s Scott Jones.
“Our Christmas Seafood Lunch has been upgraded to an all-inclusive three-course lunch package and includes entry to the racecourse and Member’s Lounge, a racebook, and a three-course lunch of seafood entrée, Christmas mains and a delicious dessert served as feasting tables.
“There is also a five-hour Silver Beverage Package that includes house wine, standard beer and soft drinks.
“The reserved trackside table enclosure is usually only available for Lismore Cup, but we’re opening this up as it presents a great opportunity for businesses and social groups to enjoy a pre-Christmas function close to the action.
“Or racegoers can just come and throw a picnic rug down on the grass and enjoy the day and all Lismore Turf Club has to offer.”
Murwillumbah trainer Paul Robbins will be making the hour and a quarter trip to Lismore with Chloride, Anzio, Madam Mouton and Bon Choix likely starters.
Chloride is entered for the feature event, the $22,000 Christmas Cup (1400m) and on his recent form, is set to be sent out as one of the more fancied runners. The seven-year-old is thriving on his racing with two wins and a third from his past three starts.
Goulburn Race Club’s Thursday program is their stand-alone Christmas meeting. GRC’s CEO, Robyn Fife, said: “This will be our first meeting back since our successful Cup Day at the end of November and gives us a great opportunity to embrace the festive season theme.
“We have many Christmas parties booked on the day and thought we would also extend the Christmas giving to winning trainers and jockeys. Each successful trainer and rider will receive a fantastic Christmas Hamper valued at over $100 packed with local produce from Harvest Café.”
An interesting runner in the $27,000 Fred Cooper Cup (1600m) is Mop the Floor trained locally by Skye Wansey. Skye has the perfect record as a trainer with Mop the Floor making a winning debut at Bong Bong last month – the first ever runner for the trainer.
An in-form The Blues Brother, prepared at Moruya by Steve Stephens, is also entered and has won two of his past three starts with a second at Queanbeyan sandwiched between those victories.
The six-year-old landed a $15 into $9.50 plunge last time when an easy winner at Sapphire Coast (1608m) defeating subsequent Wagga victor, Griddlebone.