By Mark Brassel
A feast of Aussie Day racing action kicks off this Thursday when Tamworth presents their Country Music Cup race meeting on the eve of Australia Day.
With a load of country music stars in town for the massive Tamworth Country Music Festival, many of the artists will be attending the racecourse and mingling with the crowd.
Tamworth Jockey Club will throw open the gates at 10am with free entry into the Racing NSW Country Showcase meeting where each race carries a minimum $30,000 prizemoney – feature race is the Concrete Industry Supplies Tamworth Country Music Cup.
The Shanon Watkins Band will be playing on the front lawn from 5:30pm, with a jumping castle for the kids and a free bus service operating.
On Australia Day, there will be two other meetings racing in tandem with Warwick Farm’s eight-race card – Wagga Wagga and Port Macquarie.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club will host a Ladies Day Out at Wagga with free entry and a beverage on arrival for the ladies.
“We race on Australia Day each year – the meeting is extremely popular and rates among our top five social racedays on the Wagga calendar,” said MTC’s CEO, Scott Sanbrook. “A DJ will be playing and there’ll be heaps of free kids’ entertainment including a water slide and a foam cannon.
“And capping a huge day will be the announcement of the Faces of the Carnival ambassadors who will be heavily involved in the promotion of the Wagga Gold Cup Carnival [May 3 & 4],” Mr Sanbrook added.
Feature race is the third running of the $20,000 Australia Day Cup that also serves as a heat of Wagga Stayers Series.
“The Australia Day Cup has significance as it carries double the points in the popular Wagga Stayers Series. The support event is the second running of the Wagga Scamper over 1000m – we ran the Scamper for the first occasion last year but it was on a different date.”
Port Macquarie Race Club will stage their Queen of the North Raceday with Patriots Bloodstock & Racing sponsoring the entire program. The feature, the $60,000 Queen of the North, has been won by some good horses including Heavenly Glow , the mare subsequently taking out the Group 1 Arrowfield Stakes at Rosehill Gardens and the Australian Oaks at Royal Randwick.
Last year’s winner was Shotgun Roulette who is likely to chase her second successive win in the race, having trialled impressively for a closing third at Port Macquarie on 12 January.
Port Macquarie Race Club’s CEO, Michael Bowman, said the Club is offering a free jumping castle and face painting for the kids, as well as free return buses from the CBD and Tacking Point.