Cooma happy to ‘take on a challenge’

Cooma Monaro Race Club will race on Saturday. Photo: Cooma Monaro Race Club.

Thoroughbred racing heads up the Snowy Mountains on Saturday with the Cooma Monaro Race Club set to host a six-race-program headlined by the $14,000 Cooma Cup and $14,000 Sundowners Cup for maidens. 

With so many local meetings abandoned due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is refreshing to see a non-TAB club preparing for a big race day. 

In fact, Cooma Monaro Race Club Chairman, Mick Schofield, said hosting a meeting in 2020 was a badge of honour for his committee, and they looked forward to racing again on Saturday.

“Last year, we had no issues whatsoever,” Schofield said. 

“Yeah, there were a lot going on, but we wanted to race and our committee likes to take on a challenge when given the opportunity.

“We know how important this race meeting is to the region and if we can race, we will always race.”

The Cooma Monaro Race Club raise money for the community at their meetings, and on Saturday, the club is looking after first-responders, hospital and medical staff and anyone who did their part for the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We are hosting a free marquee,” Schofield said. 

“We have 28 marquees booked for sponsors and patrons but importantly, we have a free marquee for first responders, such as ambos, hospital staff, doctor surgeries and the police, with food and complementary drinks available on the day.

“The marquee and race day is a thank you for their work during Covid and everything they have done.”

Schofield touched on the fact that Cooma and surrounding clubs benefited from the race meeting. 

“The Lions Club are doing our bar and gates and we are paying them, so it goes back into charity and the community,” Schofield said.

“The Rotary Club is providing one of our food outlets, and they get the money for charity and the Boy’s Scouts collect all the cans on the day and the bush fire brigade help us clean up.

“We also work with the Community Chest, which is a local group of women, who support struggling families in the town and area, and they will be doing the catering for the general public and all the food and soft drink has been donated and that money goes back into the area.”

Racing will take centre stage, with 49 gallopers accepting for the program, but Schofield said the competition would be just as fierce when it came to fashions on the field.

“We have some great fashions on the field, and it is always a good competition, but this year, you have to register online,” Schofield said.

Local support for the meeting has never been better either.

“We have had fantastic sponsors on the races too, and the support has been overwhelming,” Schofield said. 

“We have over 80-odd sponsors on the day, which is probably the biggest in NSW and we have a major sponsor on every race and 10 co-sponsors. 

Racing commences at 1.40pm and for those interested, tickets are available online until tomorrow morning and Schofield was just pleased to be hosting a meeting, which followed a tough period for the region. 

“The club is looking forward to a great day,” Schofield said.

“We look forward to welcoming the community and just opening back up for a major event.”

For full Cooma fields, readers can click here.