Grenfell to kick off School Holidays with family-friendly race day

Racegoers will be trackside at Grenfell Picnic Race Club on Saturday. Image: Racing Photography.

On Saturday, all roads will lead to Grenfell for an action-packed six-race picnic program headlined by the $10,000 Grenfell Picnic Cup. 

With 78 nominations for the meeting, Grenfell Picnic Racing Club president Danny Kotel believes Saturday’s meeting could be one of their strongest in recent years. 

“We’ve had trainers like Doug Gorrel, who’s here nearly every year, and others from Wangaratta, Dubbo, and Wellington,” Kotel told NSW Country and Picnic Racing

“Last year, Ricky Blewitt said it was the strongest Picnic Cup he had seen in years, and I suspect it will be the same this year. 

“The prize money is still good, and with Coota called off last weekend, some of the better-quality horses might be tossing up racing at Grenfell so they can get a run in, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with eight horses in each race.”

While the rain wreaked havoc last week, leading to many postponed, transferred, and abandoned race meetings across the state, Kotel said it was a timely drenching for Grenfell.

“The rain we got Friday and Saturday has done nothing but refresh the grass,” he said. 

“The track is still in good four order, and while it was very unlucky for Coota, and we feel for them, the rain came at a good time for us so long as it stays away from here on in.

“We’ve been taking care of the track and have had the sprinklers out, but it’s not the same as a good day of rain, and now, everything is absolutely beautiful. 

“Today (Monday) is nice and sunny; we mowed it yesterday and will give it a clip on Wednesday, but otherwise, it looks great.” 

Kotel and his committee expect another big crowd, with the Grenfell race day a meeting place for families and friends looking for a reason to catch up.

“I think it is a good meeting point because we have had people book birthday parties, family reunions, and events like that,” Kotel said. 

“People hire a marquee, meet up, and turn it into a reunion and social event, and the races end up being the place to be. 

“We’ve never done an entry survey, but people come from all over the place, and it seems to be a really popular meeting.”

The six-race program will be accompanied by off-track entertainment, which is made possible by the support of the club’s valued sponsors. 

“One of the things from a racing point of view is that we’ve got very supportive sponsors,” Hotel said. 

“We give away fuel cards, horse food, and hay for the trainers, and that’s just on the racing side. 

“We’ve got sponsors that support us for fashions on the field, which is always popular. With kid’s entertainment and live music, there’s something for everyone.”

With the School holidays kicking off this weekend, Kotel believes the races will be the perfect place for everyone to let loose and enjoy a good day out.

“We’ll be catering for such a variety of people, and it’s good timing with the School holidays starting,” he said.  

“We’ll have a jumping castle, face painting, a sand pit, and novelty events for the kids, and there are sections for kids in the fashions on the field.

“Plus, where we have our marquees, they look over the track, which has the kid’s activities in between, so they can keep an eye on them and still have a good time.”

While families will be catered for at Grenfell, Kotel said his committee takes pride in catering for all demographics on race day.

“Over the last few years, we’ve tried not to focus on any particular group but make it a race day for all; we want to see families, kids, young people, and racing lovers enjoying a good day at Grenfell,” he said. 

It’s set to be a social explosion at Grenfell, but racing will be the focus, and Kotel and his committee have continued to listen to participants’ feedback. 

“We’ve done little jobs, and the biggest one would have been on our barrier stalls,” Kotel said. 

“The barrier attendants had made comments in the past about a step on the back, a grab bar, and divisions between each barrier so the horses couldn’t get their heads in there.

“We had a fella from around town come down and do the work, and we think that will be well-received.

“In the previous years, we’ve done the same with the steward’s tower and bookmaker’s stands, and we’re always looking to improve things.”

With excitement building ahead of Saturday’s meeting, readers can learn more about the race day by clicking here

Grenfell’s final fields will be published on Thursday morning, and NSW Country and Picnic Racing will publish more on the meeting in the coming days.