By Mark Brassel
Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most significant national occasions and for many thousands the day commences at dawn, and marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the World War I.
It is also a major raceday in New South Wales with eight race meetings around the State celebrating with a race program. Naturally, Royal Randwick leads the charge with free entry, but there are also meetings at:-
Bathurst: Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing rolls out its biggest day of racing for the year with the Soldier’s Saddle meeting at Tyers Park. The raceday has become an iconic event across the Bathurst community with some great racing and endless socialising.
Below: Best dressed couple - Dean Fair and Tiarna Robertson. Image by - Janian McMillan
Armidale: West Armidale Businesses sponsor the day with all ex-service men and women given free entry. The Club has a five-race card with plenty of bookies, a tote, full bar and catering facilities and two-up after the final event.
Kempsey: Kempsey Macleay RSL has been sponsoring this meeting for more than 30 years. It was originally a Gladstone Jockey Club meeting until about 1992, when they amalgamated with Kempsey. The RSL is one of the Club’s main sponsors throughout the racing season.
Cessnock: Anzac Day is legendary at the course and by purchasing tickets online before raceday, racegoers can take up the ‘buy one - get one free’ offer. Tickets will be $10 on the day with plenty of entertainment including two-up, a jumping castle, kids’ rides and a free sausage sandwich and beverage for all service men and women. Soldier On will be collecting gold coin donations with a free shuttle bus to and from the course and Cessnock Leagues Club.
Gosford: Its SeaFM Anzac Raceday with a Fashions on the Field contest and two-up from 1pm in the Lawn Beer Garden. Kids’ entertainment includes face painting, a balloon twister, a magician and the KindiFarm.
Nyngan: IGA host a free luncheon with Nyngan Pet & Stock Feeds donating a bale of Lucerne to each of the horses that finish last on the day. Children will be entertained with Jingles the Clown along with face painting, a merry-go-round and a jumping castle; kindly sponsored by Western Aspect Consultancy, Nyngan Rural Agencies and Walsh Funerals. Nyngan Newsagency has donated a DVD of each race to winning connections, with a free bus service operating between the RSL and the track, courtesy of Vane’s Bus Service and Nyngan Jockey Club.
Deniliquin: It’s Deniliquin RSL Diggers Cup Day with plenty lined up including kids’ entertainment, a fashions on the field, and like all tracks, returned service men and women will be given free entry, with an RSL Club bus operating. A two-up game will be running with music provided by Gomer and the Girl - a three-piece acoustic band located in the Deniliquin area.