By Mark Brassel
It’s an 11-day celebration and Australia’s longest volunteer-run event – it’s the annual Casino Beef Week and it kicked off yesterday.
The festival extends until Tuesday week [May 30] and celebrates the Aussie beef industry and the NSW rural community with more than 100 events planned.
And there won’t be a dull moment with an incredible diversity of entertainment planned: An art exhibition, busking competition, whip cracking, rodeo, cow pat lotto, boning demonstration, sausage competition, bush poets and, of course, the crowning of Beef Week Queen and Mr Beef.
“Yes, it is a truly amazing week of fun and entertainment and we’re lucky enough to have our race meeting form part of the celebrations,” said Casino Racing Club’s secretary-manager, Renee Opryszko. “Casino comes alive during Beef Week and the number of activities is mind boggling.”
Friday’s Beef Week Cup race meeting at Casino Racecourse is one of CRC’s biggest racedays of the year: “This is a huge day for us and we always draw a big crowd.
“We have Fashions on the Field events for men and women with great prizes on offer. There will be judging on Best Millinery, Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Man. And the club will be making a special presentation to Leo Clapham who is celebrating 50 years of training at Casino.
“It will be a tremendous day of racing and partying and should the weather be kind to us, we’re expecting another large crowd to flock through the gates.”
Feature race is the $30,000 Casino Returned Servicemen’s Memorial Club Beef Week Cup over 1400m supported by the $20,000 Casino Flying [1000m].
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Muswellbrook Race Club will stages its Hunter River Stayers Cup Day. “This race has attracted the best field since we introduced it three years ago,” MRC’s GM, Duane Dowell, said.
“We have the ‘house full’ sign with a capacity 14 starters scheduled to compete in the $20,000 race over 2300-metres.”
Evergreen jockey Robert Thompson has been booked to ride topweight He’s Dreamin’ who will carry the steadier of 61.5kg but jumps from barrier number two.
“And we have our usual bar, café, TAB and bookie facilities operating during the day,” Mr Dowell added.
Also on Tuesday, Illawarra Turf Club is offering free entry and free racebooks at its Kembla Grange race meeting.
“The members’ bar will be open to the public and bookings are now available for the Ken Brown Dining Room,” said ITC’s secretary-manager, Michael Craig.
Darren Beadman, who is now head trainer of Godolphin horses, will be represented by five runners at Kembla on Tuesday with four different jockey riding.
Corey Brown will partner Banuelo and Evanesce, while Brenton Avdulla rides Siam, Tommy Berry is aboard The Bar with Jean Van Overmeire booked for Torpenhow.