Dubbo Cup carnival proves a winner for participants and punters

The cup field charges down the Dubbo Turf Club straight. Photo: Racing Photography.

Dubbo Turf Club may not have had any crowds at their Dubbo Cup meeting on September 12 or their Memorial Race Day on August 8 due to NSW Covid-19 restrictions, but with a mountain of racing and plenty of prizemoney on offer, it turned out to be a great two days for industry participants and punters. 

The Dubbo Cup meeting itself was a huge success, with the 10-race Showcase meeting offering $420,000 in prizemoney to participants, highlighted by the $100,000 Dubbo Cup.

Over 170 horses accepted for the meeting, and as expected, TAB turnover was through the roof, highlighting the quality of the track and the horses competing, and again proving that punters will bet with confidence at NSW country tracks. 

Dubbo Turf Club General Manager, Vince Gordon, was pleased that Racing NSW made the decision to split the eight-race-program into a 10-race Showcase meeting, and believed it was the right decision to make for local and travelling participants. 

“That was a great thing for racing and for the industry,” Gordon said. 

“It was good for participants, and I think during Covid, with races being called off, you learn not to predict what could happen, but this was a great result for everyone involved.

“The fields were excellent. Yes, there were some scratchings but the sizes of the fields were above average and very competitive.”

The Dubbo course and surrounds presented beautifully on Sky Racing and Gordon praised everyone involved in getting the track up to such a good standard. 

“Look, to be able to present a track like that was a great reward from a couple of points of view,” Gordon said.

“It’s not only reward for the staff that put in the effort, but reward for the combined effort of the club and racing industry and the work that has been put into the track over the last few years. It was a combined effort and there is no doubt about that.”

Gordon explained that Dubbo’s focus was now shifting towards getting people back on course when changing restrictions eventually allow crowds.

 “I will say that our focus here is currently on engaging with the community and local industry to get people back on track,” he said.

During Dubbo’s Memorial and Cup meetings, a high percentage of local gallopers competed, and the Dubbo General Manager said it only highlighted just how important his club was to the local racing landscape.

“We are a key hub for central and western racing and providing an exceptional number of trained starters over the past few years has been important to us and great for the region,” Gordon said. 

“Importantly, we see ourselves as a racing and training centre. We don’t want to discount the training setting and the trained starters we have in this region, as we know how important that is, for not only us but other clubs.”

With the NSW Government recently announcing a three-staged return to some normality post the Covid-19 pandemic, Gordon and Dubbo Turf Club were seeing the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.

“It’s a been a tough period and we need to get through this Covid,” Gordon said.

“I think the success of the club is based on the last few years of work we have put into the club and facilities, and we are seeing the fruits of this now and we can see there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“The strength of the club, committee, board and staff is getting us through this time and making us successful for the years to come.”

Dubbo Turf Club will again be in the spotlight on Friday, with their eight-race-program attracting 196 nominations.

With crowds set to return to tracks by the end of October, Dubbo’s future race dates could be worth noting, with the club racing on Derby Day (October 30), Melbourne Cup Day (November 2) and Ladies Day (November 14).

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