Inverell to the rescue again

Inverell Jockey Club raced last Friday as a replacement for Coffs Harbour and the club will race again today when hosting Casino’s Beef Week Cup meeting. Photo: Bradley Photos.

For the third time this year and the second time in seven days, Inverell Jockey Club will run a replacement meeting when hosting Casino’s Beef Week Cup showcase program on Friday. 

Inverell raced back in March as a replacement for Armidale, and again last Friday when stepping up to host Coffs Harbour’s replacement meeting. 

Despite the short turnaround, Inverell Jockey Club President Peter Tanner said his track was generally ready to race at the drop of a hat.

“It is race ready every day of the year,” Tanner said. 

“If you let it go, it’s too hard to get it right again and we have horses doing track work, and the track is really good at this time of the year and most times of the year. 

“Plus, we haven’t had any frosts, which is a bonus, and the track is a million dollars.”

Despite rain plaguing Northern NSW in recent months, Inverell has been relatively lucky.

“We had the stewards here and he said they would get an upgrade tomorrow (Friday),” Tanner said. 

“We have a soft seven, and it should race better, but we have been so lucky.

“Only yesterday (Wednesday), it rained 20km down the road and they got 60ml, but we got nothing on the track. 

“We 10ml on Sunday, but everything is very, very good and the track is in perfect condition.”

Tanner said Inverell’s volunteer committee had been working hard to host these replacement meetings, and he was pleased to see the town getting behind the club. 

“We have got four out of the committee away at the moment, and we only have seven or eight in the committee, so it’s a big job,” Tanner said. 

“We have a few helpers who don’t want to be on the committee, but who want to give us a big hand, and that is great, and we are travelling okay.

“The small committee does a great job, and the town seems to be much more behind us now and everyone talks about us now, and it is a good sort of feeling and people are excited to see us racing.”

Following today’s Showcase meeting, which carries $255,000 in prizemoney, including the $45,000 Beef Week Cup, Tanner hoped that Inverell would host more replacement meetings, and he praised his track curators for always having the course and grounds ready for race meeting. 

“I was on the Gold Coast in early March, and Racing NSW rang me on the Thursday at 5pm and asked if we could hold Armidale’s race meeting on the Saturday and I said that shouldn’t be a problem and after a couple of phone calls we were racing,” Tanner said.

“Todd and Col Payne; they do a great job with the track and grounds and their work saves us needing to be there all weekend doing work.”

CEO of Country Racing NSW Brian Charman praised Inverell Jockey Club and other clubs who have worked closely with Racing NSW in recent months to have their tracks ready to host replacement meetings across the state. 

“We have seen in recent weeks transferred Northern Rivers meetings to the Hunter North Region where race clubs have welcomed the meeting and the participants and officials with open arms, in a terrific sign of unity and support of Country Racing,” Charman said.

“A number of race meetings including a recent Friday Coffs Harbour meeting have been transferred to the team at Inverell who have presented their racing surface for these meetings well outside of the Clubs normal racing schedule and we look forward to seeing another terrific meeting there again this Friday following the transfer of the Casino Beef Week Cup.

“The Glen Innes Race Club is deserving of a special mention, being a race club that conducts a well-supported annual SKY 2 race meeting each January, the Club President Mark Ritchie and the full committee and volunteer support team continue to work closely with the Racing NSW Stewards and update Racing NSW Country on a regular basis on the conditions of their race track in every effort to make the venue available and present its facilities for all and any transfer meeting opportunity. 

“This wet weather has not only been isolated to the East Coast of the State, but in recent weeks both Gilgandra and Coonamble Race Clubs Committees on short notice were able to support the industry by providing a racetrack during wet weather to accommodate an important Parkes Cup Meeting and a Picnic Race Meeting for the Industry that otherwise may not have been able to be conducted.

“Although the transfer of these meetings is not the preferred or desired outcome and may result inconvenience, the rescheduled meetings have provided an opportunity for participants to continue to race and their support shown by large race day fields sizes at these meetings again shows the resilience of the participants in preparing their horses and the ability to adapt with the conditions.”

For today’s Inverell fields, including the $45,000 Beef Week Cup, readers can click here