The Northern NSW picnic racing scene is about to heat up with the running of the time-honoured Golden Triangle series, which is essentially a picnic racing carnival across three meetings that draws upwards of 6000 spectators every year.
2020’s version of the Golden Triangle was very different, with the impacts of Covid-19 resulting in the three meetings, which are usually held at Moree, Mallawa and Talmoi, being compacted into one day of racing where spectators weren’t able to attend.
With most things racing returning to normality in 2021, Moree Picnic Race Club is set to kick off the three-leg carnival on Saturday and Greg Kachel, who is slated to call all three meetings, expressed his delighted to see the Golden Triangle back to its original format.
“It’s huge, absolutely huge,” Kachel said.
“We really missed it last year when Covid hit and I’m really happy to see it back.”
Kachel explained the importance of the Golden Triangle series to the local communities, who worked hard to make sure the meetings went ahead and were well supported.
“It’s an amazing series that falls in the Golden Wheatbelt,” Kachel said.
“It’s a wonderful series that everyone looks forward to and what I notice is that they all support each other.
“At Moree next Saturday, you will find people from the Mallawa Picnic Racing Club and Talmoi Picnic Race Club and when you go to Mallawa; Moree and Talmoi will support them and finally when you get to Garah (Talmoi); both of the other clubs support them, as do the local community.”
According to Kachel, the chance to race a galloper and pick up a winner is attraction enough to race at Moree on Saturday.
“It gives locals a chance to by a picnic horse or a lease a horse and give it to someone like Peter Sinclair and maybe jag a race,” Kachel said.
The three race meetings bring with them an economic boom for the region, with travellers from far and wide making their way to all three meetings.
“One of the best things out of it is that the dress shops must do enormous business,” Kachel laughed.
“The girls dress up and they have the fashions on the field at all three meetings, and it’s good for the economy. The fashion houses sell the outfits, plus you have the alcohol and all the catering.”
Most importantly, these regional communities get a chance to decompress and relax at the races, a rarity following on from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A small percentage of those going to the races would be hard race goers, but a large majority are looking for a good day out and might not even watch a race,” Kachel laughed.
“It’s really just a good day out for everyone.”