Sunday is Gunnedah Cup day with well over a thousand expected to turn out for the annual feast of racing.
Race day major sponsor Peter Pryde from Pryde’s EasiFeed and Gunnedah Jockey Club secretary manager Mark Storey with the perpetual trophy and 2016 Gold Cup in the lead up to this weekend’s Mother’s Day race meet at Riverside Racecourse in Gunnedah.
The Mother’s Day program features eight races at Gunnedah’s Riverside Racecourse including the prestigious 1600-metre Gold Cup.
2016 marks a special year for the Gunnedah Jockey Club as they celebrate their 150th year.
It also marks the 15th year of a relationship between the annual race and local business, Pryde’s EasiFeed.
Owner Peter Pryde said it was about more than just being the chief sponsor.
“This day is part of the local community. It’s nice for us to be involved,” he said.
“We feel we want to do something for Gunnedah and that’s why we remain a part of it.”
Jockey Club secretary manager Mark Storey said the support continuef to be cherished.
“Not many sponsorships or associations last 15 years. We’d like it to continue – we’ll do everything to make sure it continues,” Storey said.
On the track, Mr Storey said the recent rain was a huge bonus to their preparations.
“The track is looking fantastic after that 30 millimetre rain. Fingers crossed the weather is good on the day,” he said.
One of this year’s races will pay special tribute to a club stalwart who recently passed away.
“We’ll be having a tribute race to remember John Clift,” Mark said.
“He was a jockey club committee member between 1944 and 1966.”
Record nominations are rolling in with, 155 registered by Wednesday morning. Storey said they’d considered bumping the day up to nine races but backed down from that plan after conversations with stewards.
For those more concerned with off-track entertainment, organisers have been busily finalising preparations for marquees, lawns and gardens.
The day is especially targeted at families, with rides and musical entertainment provided trackside.
There are colouring-in competitions for the kids and Fashions on the Field is set to be bigger than ever.
“We know it’ll be a hotly contested affair,” Storey said.
Free shuttle buses will depart from the Golf Club at 11.10am, Wolseley Oval at 11.40am and McDonalds at 12.10pm.
“It should be a big day. It’s shaping up to be fantastic,” Storey said.
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