All roads will lead to Tumbarumba on the Australia Day long weekend, with the Tumbarumba Turf Club set to host one of the events of the year on Saturday, January 27.
Following back-to-back washouts in 2021 and 2022, the annual Tumbarumba Cup meeting made a triumphant return in 2023, and Turf Club president John McIntyre wants to build on that momentum.
“We want people to come and make a weekend of it,” McIntyre told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“If I have got 50 cousins in some form, they are all coming, and it’s going to be a big weekend.
“Australia Day is Friday, and the golf club runs the calcutta, and we just get down there and support it.
“Then we race on Saturday, and the track is beautiful.
“Bobby Burgun was the main lawn mower man and waterer, and he’s off the scene these days. It’s a big loss to our small committee.
“Still, we had 25mm of rain yesterday (Sunday), and I got the old screwdriver out like Bob does and pushed it straight into the ground; it’s a soft six.
“It’s perfect, and the grounds are the best they’ve been, and we have very good grass cover, and as long as we don’t get any rain on the day, we’ll be right.”
There are plenty of horses around, evident by strong recent acceptances at meetings held at Albury, Tumut, Gundagai, and Wagga.
As a result, McIntyre believes Tumbarumba will host capacity fields when they run their six-race non-TAB program, which is headlined by the time-honoured $18,000 Tumbarumba Cup (1400m).
“We’ve only got to look at the local meetings and all the good racing,” McIntyre said.
“We were trying to get a horse in at Tumut, and we might not even get a run at Wagga.
“With the number of horses going around, we’re expecting maximum fields, which is great for everyone.”
Jackie Lauder does a sensational job with the highly anticipated fashions on the field competition, and it will be no different this year, with over $2,500 worth of prizes on offer across eight categories that cater for all ages.
“Fashions on the field is always very popular,” McIntyre said.
“It gives the non-racegoers and partners something to look forward to, and it’s incredible how many people just want to sit there and watch it.
“It’s a great drawcard and good community event; we try to support all of our shops, and it’s really good to have so much support for it.”
McIntyre and his family will hope for another memorable result with the locally bred and locally owned Carnival Miss out to defend her title in the Tumbarumba Cup for Wagga trainer Gary Colvin.
It’s unlikely that champion jockey Danny Beasley will be in the saddle again, but with Nick Souquet down to ride her at Wagga on Tuesday (today), there’s a chance the Wodonga-based jockey might follow her back for a rare appearance at home.
“We’re all in that horse, and on the day when she won, most of us were there, and the caller Paul Francis said that’s the loudest cheer he’s ever heard for a horse coming down the straight at Tumbarumba,” McIntyre said.
“Gary will be bringing her back again this year, and she isn’t going as good, but we’ll see how she goes tomorrow (Tuesday), and if she performs well, fingers crossed she will be right for Tumbarumba.”
With the meeting fast approaching, marquee bookings are still open, but they close Wednesday.
For more information, readers should contact 0408 488 235.
Entry will be $20, gates open at 11.30 am, and readers can learn more about the meeting by visiting the club’s Facebook page.