By Chris Scholtz
Sydney’s former chief steward Ray Murrihy and renowned comedian Paul Martell will headline a gala night of racing entertainment on the eve of the 2018 Taree Cup race meeting at Bushland Drive racecourse.
Ray Murrihy [pictured left] retired in 2016 as one of Australian racing’s most respected administrators after serving as Racing NSW chief steward for 21 years.
He will be the guest speaker at the Taree Cup Calcutta Dinner on the night of Saturday August 18, to be held in the Manning Valley Race Club’s Winning Post Function Centre.
The feature entertainer will be multi Mo Awards winner Paul Martell, who is returning to Taree by popular demand after his previous appearance at the Taree Cup Calcutta Dinner two years ago. Bookings are essential.
The night also features the popular Taree Gold Cup Calcutta and Men Of League charity auction and is a highlight of the three-day XXXX Gold Taree Cup Carnival that runs from August 17-19.
The carnival, offering almost $500,000 prizemoney, opens on Friday August 17 with the running of the $35,000 Hopkins Livermore Cup, a race that perpetuates the memory of former mid-north coast racing stalwarts Don Hopkins and Ivan Livermore.
A highlight of the first day of the carnival will be the presentation of the Mid North Coast Racing Association Awards for the 2017/18 season, honouring Horse of the Year Victorem, premiership-winning trainer Kris Lees, premier jockey Ben Looker and leading apprentice Louise Day.
The $80,000 Stacks Law Firm Taree Gold Cup (2000m) headlines the finale of the carnival on Sunday August 19, a Showcase meeting that also features the $40,000 Showcase Maiden (1400m), $35,000 Manning River Lightning (1000m) and minimum prizemoney of $30,000 for all supporting races.
“The Taree Cup carnival continues to grow in popularity and offers three days of great racing and entertainment for visitors,” said Manning Valley Race Club chairman, Greg Coleman.
“We are looking forward to strong support from city and provincial stables and expect our carnival will again play a significant role as a lead-up for horses preparing for the Wyong and Newcastle Cup carnivals.”
The Taree Cup carnival will be the first for Manning Valley Race Club’s new chief executive, Helen Sinclair, a vastly experienced country racing administrator who has joined the club following the retirement of Brian Leggett.