By Rod Fuller
The Port Macquarie Cup has been selected by Racing NSW as one of five feature country races in the next racing season for a significant prizemoney increase.
Race Club President, Greg Delaforce, is delighted with the news that the flagship race has been increased in overall prizemoney to $150,000 and this will provide a solid platform for such a pinnacle event on the country racing calendar.
This represents a rise of $50,000 on the total purse offered when Sofin was steered by Ben Looker to comprehensive 5 length victory for trainer Shannon Fry in last year event.
The cup is steeped in tradition having provided so many wonderful performances over the years with wins by champion jockeys, Robert Thompson, Allan Robinson, Zac Purton, Cory Brown and Wayne Harris.
The prolific Ross Stitt trained galloper, Precise Timing, took out the cup in 2004 and 2005 while the other horse to salute in consecutive years was the Tim Martin trained, Johnny Reb, in 2001 and 2002.
The injection of funds provided by the governing body will be a confidence booster for the club following the recent upgrade of the course proper and sand training tracks.
By granting showcase status for the program, minimum prizemoney for support races have been increased to $30,000 per race and total prizemoney for the day has climbed to a massive $390,000.
The other meetings around the state to have cash injections provided by Racing NSW for the next racing season are Goulburn, Wellington, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.
The Carlton Draught Port Macquarie Cup is complimented by the $50,000 feature sprint and leading horses, trainers and jockeys from all around the state are expected to flock to the area for the program.
The carnival commences on Sunday 24th September with the Cup Prelude, followed by Port Macquarie Cup day on Friday 6th October and Steeline race day on Saturday on Saturday 7th October.
Racing returns on Saturday 26th August featuring the running of the Camden Haven Cup, a Benchmark 60 event over 1600 metres, and nominations close next Monday.
With the prospect of fine weather and a firm track, the club anticipates good crowds to enjoy the outstanding facilities on offer at the track.