CUP FEVER HITS NARRANDERA
The Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup is on this Saturday and provides plenty to do besides watch the horses.
The Fashions on the Field will be a highlight of the event.
“We always have a Lady of the Day, but we also have a Narrandera Shire Lady of the Day. Women who compete in that competition will have to have a current
Narrandera Shire address,” said Race Club publicity officer Debbie Smith. “What you find is there are people who travel the circuit, they go around to all the races and compete, but they aren’t necessarily from the area. This way we can open it up a bit for the locals.”
Fashions on the field categories include the best dressed junior boy or girl (ages 0-5), the best dressed junior racegoer (ages 6-12). There are also prizes for the
couple of the day, the millinery award, the best dressed man and, of course, the Lady of the Day.
“There’s two holidays to be won this year. The Lady of the Day will win two nights at the Adelphi Apartments in Echuca – which are just lovely,” Ms Smith said. “The Man of the Day gets two nights in Anglers Reach Lakeside Village in Adaminaby.”
The winners of the Lady and Man of the day will also receive cash prizes in addition to the holidays. Judges this year will be Liz Whykes and Rebecca Doncon, who have both graciously agreed to come over from Deniliquin.
“They’re both avid racegoers,” said secretary of the Narrandera Race Club Lee Sweeney.
Laura Darrington, this year’s NRC Face of Racing, will present the winners with their prizes. Miss Darrington will also be at the president’s marquee for part of the day.
“We have a marquee, sponsors are welcome to come and have a drink and a bite to eat,” said Ms Sweeney.
Marquees aren’t limited to sponsors, however; anyone can book one through the Race Club.
“You can book a marquee, which we hire from Wagga, and they bring it over and erect it all so you need do is walk in and walk out,” Ms Sweeney said. “Then we have tables available for $40 for a table trackside, but you need to book them because I don’t have a lot left.”
The tables, which seat up to eight people, are a great way to enjoy a picnic at the races and not miss any of the action. Food can be brought in to the race track
(but no BYO alcohol).
“Then we set up the function centre for ladies that would like to have dinner and lunch,” Ms Sweeney said. “There’ll be a lunch for $15, that’s the main meal.
There’ll be Devonshire tea for $6 and dessert is $7. That’s being catered by Hall’s Cottage. That’s in the Function Centre but if you don’t want to you can just rent a table and bring your own nibbles. There’ll be amusements for the kids and the Lions train.”
The Race Club has also confirmed that the Uwana coffee van will also be at the day. If anyone would like to book a marquee or a trackside table with eight chairs for the Narrandera Cup, contact Race Club secretary Lee Sweeney on 0484 270 556.
IT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR
The Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup will be on this Saturday and for Narrandera Race Club Racing Manager Michael Bailey it’s one of the high points of the year.
“It’s just a really social day. For me, because I live in Wagga and have done for the last 20 years, it’s great to go home. A lot of people come back who are expats. You see a lot of faces that you haven’t seen all year,” Mr Bailey said.
With the club going strong since 1879, there’s a strong tradition to uphold and the club is ticking along nicely this year. The Cup itself looks to be a strong race day.
“We’ve got 111 nominations for the six races. We won’t know exactly how many starters we’ll have until tomorrow morning, but I’m expecting about four full fields and a couple of tens.”
While the prizemoney for the cup will be lower than the last race meeting in Narrandera – $12,000 for the cup itself and $10,000 for the other five races – the meeting is still attracting trainers from all over.
“They’re coming from Victoria, Canberra and all around the southern districts. We’re the trailer, we fill the gaps between the big services in Sydney or Melbourne. We’re very lucky to have the TAB. The races will be beamed all around Australia and beamed all over the world.”
The recent rain has not had any negative impact on the track, although as Mr Bailey has pointed out in the past, the sandy soil of the track means it can hold up a lot better in wet conditions.
“It’s actually done it good, having 10mls fall on it, as long as we don’t get another 20. It just depends on what the weather gods dictate. We’ll stay positive.
“It’s one of the big social days out in Narrandera and the big thing is with our facilities people can get out of any wind and cold and be in comfort.”
The current Bureau of Meteorology forecast is pointing at a partly sunny, mostly dry day with a top of 15 degrees, although there are forecasts for gusty winds. So far there is only a maximum prediction of three millimetres of rain between now and Saturday.
“If you dress appropriately, there’s no reason you can’t have a good day. We’re hoping for somewhere between 500 and 1000 racegoers on the day; we’ll be very
happy with over 500.
“It’s good for business – with the fashions it boosts a lot of the clothing shops, the hair and make-up shops. A lot of local businesses get a bit of a lift this time of the year. Getting a bit of money flowing around doesn’t do any harm either.
“The club’s had a great season with the TAB. Strong racing, good track. It’s been a good year for the club.
“We draw a crowd here when other clubs struggle. We get local support. It makes up for the effort that the volunteers at the club put in.”