The TC Lee OAM Memorial Cup will be held this Saturday. It’s the final race meeting for the calendar year at Narrandera and the club is hoping to make the event a family day out.
“For this coming meeting we will have the usual facilities, the canteen. We’ll look after the kids; we’ll have a jumping castle and stuff like that for the kids, including face painting,” said Narrandera Race Club President Tony Paterson.
“At this stage it’ll be a sixrace program. We’ve been allotted six races, depending on how the nominations come in. If there’s a lot of nominations like we had for the last meeting, Racing NSW may give us another couple of races.”
At the time of print it has been confirmed that there are 134 nominations for the TC Lee.
While it is still unknown as to whether that will allow for a seventh race, it does mean that every race on the day will have a full field of 12.
“The track’s in good order and we just hope we get the same good quality horses that we got for the last meeting,” Mr Paterson said.
There will be no fashions on the field, as that was all held at the previous meeting, the Narrandera Cup. The gates will open at 11am.
The TC Lee is in honour of Tom Lee, who was involved in the Narrandera Race Club for decades.
“Tom was the chief clerk at the Narrandera Hospital,” Narrandera Racing Club Manager Michael Bailey explained.
“He was the backbone of the Narrandera Lizards, but he was also involved with the Race Club for over 50 years. His wife Gwen is still on the committee.” According to Mr Paterson, Mr Lee was always a committed member of the club.
“When he was part of the committee, they had to raise their own money to finance the races. He sold raffle tickets in the pub, he did everything,” Mr Paterson said.
Mr Bailey described Mr Lee as someone who never wanted the spotlight.
“In the three or four years since Tom’s death we’ve had either washouts or terrible weather, so he’s possibly making his opinions known.”
It’s been a remarkable year for the Narrandera Racing Club. After an amazing turn-out for the Narrandera Cup – where even a visiting representative from Racing NSW remarked on the quality of the race and horses – the club has also been nominated as a finalist in the 2018 Country and Provincial Racing Awards.
Mr Paterson said it’s time the club started looking to invest more in its own infrastructure.
“I went down and attended a seminar from racing NSW. The focus this yearwas on having a safe racing surface for the horses. We are nearly at the stage where we need to consider purchasing machinery to aerate the soil, making more of a spongy surface,” Mr Paterson said.