By Mark Brassel
The sun and surf will welcome some well-known ex-rugby league players this coming weekend.
Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club hosts its ‘Men of League’ raceday this Saturday with a long list of former players attending including Ben Ross, Paul Langmack, Mick Hagan, Dennis Tutty, John Elford, Harry Wells and Ziggy Niszczot.
Former referee Mick Stone will also be in attendance as well as ex-UK players Mick Adams and Dennis O’Neill.
“We have a huge raffle to raise money for the Men of League with a cracker of a first prize,” said the race club’s Garry McQuillan. “The winner will receive two State of Origin tickets to Game 2 in Sydney, plus 5-star accommodation, breakfast and parking.
“The Daily Telegraph’s league writer Dean ‘Bulldog’ Ritchie is MC on the day and he’ll be interviewing the players between races.”
The raffle will be drawn at Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club at 7pm on Saturday after the races with 30 Men of League footballs given away along with 150 rugby league items including caps. Other prizes include a lunch and beverage package for two people to the Chairman’s Lunch on Taree Gold Cup Day, a Tooheys esky and 18 holes of golf for four plus two carts at Forster Golf Club.
TFJC will conduct a six-race TAB meeting and will kick off with the first event at around 1:30pm.
Meanwhile, Scone Race Club will hold its first race meeting this Friday since the passing of the club’s beloved chairman, Noel Leckie. The club will host a tribute to Mr Leckie at its Country Championships Qualifier meeting on Sunday 5 March.
“The Scone course is in outstanding condition with the current weather conditions promoting exceptional growth, further promoting the likelihood of some great racing,” said SRC’s new CEO, Heath Courtney. “We are also excited to announce Darley as our Scone Cup Carnival sponsor for the next three years.”
The Scone Cup Carnival runs on Friday 12 May and Saturday 13 May.
And it’s free entry to Newcastle Jockey Club’s race meeting this Thursday, with NJC having just closed nominations for the inaugural Newcastle & Hunter Racing Hall of Fame, with inductees to be honoured at a gala dinner on Wednesday 15 March.
Hall of Fame Chairman, Brian Judd, said he was delighted with the number and quality of nominations.
“I suppose it comes as no surprise given the region’s rich racing history. It is apparent that the decisions for future Selection Committees will be just as difficult as it was on this occasion,” said Mr Judd.
“The awards recognise and celebrate the contribution of horses, trainers, jockeys and associates to the Newcastle and Hunter region or the wider Australian Thoroughbred Industry,” he added.
Gala night bookings and nominations are online at – www.newcastlehunterhof.com.au