By Geoff Newling
Ballina and Lismore Cup meetings are fast approaching and will disperse more than $500,000 in prizemoney between them.
Next Thursday’s $65,000 Slipway Hotel Ballina Cup (1600m) headlines a huge Racing NSW Country Showcase meeting which also includes the $35,000 Aquis Farm Newmarket (1250m) and six $30,000 Showcase support races. That’s $280,000 in prizemoney, confirmed Ballina Jockey Club's GM, Matt Bertram.
“Good coin,” Matt Bertram said. “Everything is shaping up as a great day, we should have a cracker of a crowd and have lots of things happening on the track. Our marquees are just about sold out.”
Preparations for the Thursday 20 September Lismore Cup are also well advanced, advised race club chairman, Mark Oaten. Lismore Turf Club will distribute $270,000 in prizemoney on its Cup day; $60,000 for the 2100m Lismore Cup and $30,000 each for the seven support races including the Untamed Sprint (1200m) and Rousillon Handicap (1516m).
Nominations for that meeting close 11am Friday 14 September. Lismore was to have raced on Tuesday but that meeting was abandoned after stewards found a section of track from the 800m to the 400m was unsafe.
“It was disappointing to lose the meeting but the safety of the participants, the welfare of the jockeys and the horses is paramount,” Mark Oaten said. “We now have the equipment available to move the running rail out to cover that section of the track.”
He said club secretary Scott Jones has done a magnificent job readying the club for its biggest day of the year: “We’ve nearly sold out the VIP tent already and the punters tent is starting to fill up as well. We've just about sold out in all the marquees and all things being equal, we should have a bumper Cup meeting this year.”