By Anya Whitlaw (Western Advocate)
It was the richest race meeting ever staged at Tyers Park, but last Friday’s Country Showcase event also saw good crowds, quality racing and got to meet former Champion jockey Jim 'Pumper' Cassidy.
Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing GM, Michelle Tarpenning, said she was a little unsure of the crowd attendance for the race meeting – which featured the Bathurst Cup – would get on a Friday after Australia Day. As it turned out, she could not have asked for more.
"It was hard to know what sort of crowd we were going to have because of it being on a Friday, normally it’s on a Sunday and the crowd for the Bathurst Cup is usually strong on the Sunday,” she said. “But I am very happy with the crowd and the atmosphere on the day. Everyone enjoyed hearing about all the rich racing history this region has to offer.
“This race meeting has a really different feel to the day, we try to acknowledge people who are not normally recognised … so it was great to see such a good response.”
One of those people recognised was former trainer-jockey Bill Aspros, who had a $35,000 race named after him. Winner Zarhron, from Andrew Molloy’s Cowra stable, clocked a class record running against a quality field.
“The strength of the field in that was apparently the strongest in the 30-year history of the race, which is quite remarkable,” Tarpenning said. “He [Aspros] was really pleased.”
The day is one apprentice Carly Frater-Hill will fondly remember as well. She took out the Hugh Bowman Cup aboard Simply Striking 24 hours after becoming an Australian citizen.