Still on track

Narrandera is set to host its season opener on June 13, a TAB meeting with $72,000 in prizemoney. Photo: Kim Woods.

Narrandera Race Club is pushing forward with its season opener, the LH Peacock Memorial Race Meeting set down for June 13.

The six-race meeting will run without public or spectators.

Nominations close on June 8 with acceptances to be declared on June 11.

The full TAB Sky 2 meeting features prizemoney of $72,000, equal to last year’s purse. The program consists of a benchmark 58 handicap of 1200 metres (LW Peacock Memorial Cup), benchmark 50 handicap of 1400 metres for fillies and mares, benchmark 50 handicap 1400 metres for colts and geldings, class one handicap 1000 metres, maiden plate 1600 metres and maiden handicap 1400 metres.

The Narrandera Cup is slated for July 19 and the TC Lee Memorial Cup on August 15.

Narrandera Race Club president Tony Paterson confirmed Narrandera would be racing this year minus the public due to COVID-19.

Mr Paterson said renovation works had been carried out on the track in January.

“It was watered a few times in January to settle it down and then in February we got the rain which was ideal,” he said. “It was the best season for broadleaf weeds so we had to spray those several times, fertilise the track, and between the rain events we have done some irrigation.

“The track is in great condition. We purchased an ex-Council mower so the track has been mowed to where it should be. We are also adding new padding to the starting stalls and we will be ready to go.”

Mr Paterson said an additional race may be allocated depending on the nominations. He said the L H Peacock Cup race would feature a $200 trophy.

“The committee runs under the guidance of Racing NSW – yes, a lot of people are disappointed their lifestyles are changed but that is the world we live in with the virus.

“Things may have changed by August but I’m not holding my breath. As long as we keep racing for the trainers, horses, jockeys, strappers and owners.

“Everyone associated with racing wants to see the sport continue.

“Racing NSW have a good plan with the state divided into zones and if jockeys or staff in the zone contract the virus, the other zones can keep racing.

“All going well, we expect full fields for Narrandera in June.”

Leeton Jockey Club’s non-TAB meeting in May remains under a cloud with traditional picnic race meetings unviable without the public attendance.

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