Gilgandra to ring in the New Year with bumper carnival 

Gilgandra Jockey Club will be the place to be over the New Year’s holiday break.

All roads will lead to Gilgandra over the New Year’s break, with the Western Districts race club to host two big days of racing on December 30 and January 7.

The December 30 meeting falls on the Saturday of the New Year’s long weekend, leading into the Gilgandra Cup Showcase program, which takes centre stage on Sunday, January 7.

Add to that a bumper Gilgandra Cup calcutta at Gilgandra RSL on Saturday, January 6, with legendary jockey Greg Ryan on hand as a special guest, and it makes for a big week.

“It’s going to be a ripper carnival,” Gilgandra Jockey Club President Jason Tate said. 

“We’ll have a fancy dress-themed fashions on the field competition on the 30th, and we’ll have $1500 worth in prizes for the four different categories. 

“There will be live entertainment both days, and at the Calcutta, we’ll have Greg Ryan as our special guest, along with Tim Moses, Mick Wallace, and Col Hodges, who will do his phantom call.”

There will be just shy of $400,000 in prizemoney offered across two big days of racing, and Tate and his committee are thrilled to be hosting a $50,000 Gilgandra Cup (1600m) and $50,000 Super Maiden (1280m) on their Showcase meeting on January 7.

“Our main day has $295,000 worth of prize money, and we ended up with a $50,000 Super Maiden, so we put the Cup up to $50,000 to match it,” Tate said. 

“We’ve never had so much prizemoney, and we’re looking forward to it; it should be some of our best-ever fields. 

“We’ve advertised the meeting really well through our social media and the local paper, and the whole committee is pumped.”

Gilgandra has had a lot of rain lately, but according to Tate, it is just what the doctor ordered for a racecourse that is considered one of the better wet-wetter courses in NSW.

“We had three inches of rain last night (Wednesday), which is just what we needed,” Tate said. 

“They are talking about some showers next week and over Christmas, but we fertilised everything and were ready for it, and it has worked out well. 

“Plus, we can handle a bit of rain, and even if it does rain in between, we’ll have the time to have the track right.

The Gilgandra season ends on February 10, with the club hosting their annual Tooraweenah Cup meeting. 

Tate was simply excited to have Gilgandra the toast of the Western Districts Racing Association for the next month and a half. 

“We have three of our four race meetings pencilled in pretty close together,” Tate said. 

“We’ve got these two and then the Tooraweenah Cup, and we’re pumped. 

“Many locals come home at this time of year, and it’s a good chance for everyone to catch up. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone out there.”

As always, Gilgandra Jockey Club will cater to all demographics, with a jumping castle and waterslides entertaining the younger racegoers on both race day,

At the same time, live entertainment and fashions on the field will be the focus off-track. 

For more on the Gilgandra carnival, click here.