Inverell to ‘showcase’ the best of country racing

The Inverell Jockey Club’s New Year’s Day Inverell Cup meeting has been upgraded to Showcase status. Photo: Bradley Photos.

The Inverell Jockey Club have received a significant boost ahead of their New Year’s Day cup meeting, with the always-popular eight-race-program upgraded to Showcase status.

The Inverell Cup is worth $45,000 and the remainder of the program will see each race carry the minimum of $30,000. 

North West race caller Greg Kachel believes Inverell’s feature race meeting deserves nothing less than Showcase status.

“Inverell Jockey Club is very deserved of having its first Showcase meeting on New Year’s Day, which is the traditional day of the Inverell Cup and the feature Shorts Handicap,” he said. 

Kachel had nothing but praise for the Inverell Jockey Club, hinting that the club should be racing more often. 

“The Inverell club only has five race meetings per year from August to New Year’s Day, and this magnificent track, which has won praise in many quarters, becomes a training track for the balance of the calendar year,” he said.

“Local racing enthusiasts have long wondered why Inverell does not race more often, particularly a couple of years ago when some clubs had to relinquish meetings because of the drought, and Inverell was well-placed to host them. 

“Whilst this didn’t eventuate, the club was given an additional meeting in March this year at which the inaugural Tingha Cup was run, and also in October although the latter fell victim to the wet weather.”

Kachel highlighted that the racing was always competitive at Inverell too, and that there is no more deserving track to open the NSW Showcase racing calendar in 2022.

“The 400 metre straight at Inverell gives every horse a chance, the embankment and grandstand give patrons a wonderful view, and there is plenty of room for families and groups to set up shade shelters for an enjoyable day,” Kachell said. 

“Inverell will be the first Showcase Cup run in NSW for 2022, and already publicity for the day has started through local media outlets.”

Inverell Jockey Club President Peter Tanner thanked Racing NSW for choosing to support Inverell.

“It was very exciting news to hear our (Inverell) Cup Day had been upgraded to a Showcase meeting,” Tanner said. 

“I would like to thank Racing NSW for giving us this opportunity. While we had good quality fields on the 2021 Inverell Cup Day, we should attract an even better class of horse, not only for the cup, but the whole program with the increase to prizemoney.”

The Inverell Cup meeting follows quickly on the heels of the club’s massive Boxing Day program, and Tanner explained it was an exciting time for the North West club.

“Our Boxing Day meeting is more a catch up for everyone coming home for Christmas, where our Cup Day is for the keen racegoer,” Tanner said. 

“We are really looking forward to our Christmas Carnival, which is fast approaching for big crowds and great racing, and to put it out there to trainers that haven’t been to Inverell before what a great racetrack and town we have.

“The only tip I have for the Christmas Carnival is don’t miss out on two great social days of racing.”

According to Inverell Jockey Club Secretary, Karen Fontaine, there is already plenty of interest in both meetings, with the club hosting unique events to give racegoers once-in-a-lifetime race experiences. 

“This Christmas race carnival will be like no other with plenty on offer to racegoers,” Fontaine said.

“(The Inverell Cup) Showcase day will see the club giveaway a Queensland holiday for two. We’re also giving away a VIP Race Day Package for six lucky people. 

“The Inverell Sporties Barrier Experience will be back offering racegoers the opportunity to head around to the barriers to watch them at the jump.

“We’ve received a large number of group bookings already so we’re anticipating a huge crowd.”

Fontaine was equally as confident that the action on course would match the off-course action, and the club administrative is expecting visitors from all over the place.

“The club broke the record for nominations on New Year’s Day 2021 and the club’s confident nominations will be stronger for 2022,” Fontaine said.

“We were thrilled to have so many visitors from Queensland, Sydney, Hunter Valley, Newcastle who all enjoyed the Calcutta Night at Inverell Sporties and exciting racing, we look forward to their return for the 2022 XXXX Inverell Cup Showcase Meeting.”