Narrandera Race Club is gearing up for one of their biggest ever meetings.
Racing on Sunday July 17, Narrandera will host their first Showcase race day, with each of their eight races carrying a minimum $30,000 in prizemoney.
The $40,000 Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup headlines the meeting, with the 1600m event set to attract some of the best country gallopers from the Southern Districts, South East, Western Districts and Northern Victoria.
Narrandera Race Club Racing Manager, Michael Bailey said the rich meeting, worth a total of $250,000 in prizemoney, was a huge boost to racing in the Southern Districts.
“I think it is an important meeting for the future of country racing in this area and it is a great thing for our club” Bailey said.
“The Narrandera Race Club has come from being a very grass roots club and just racing on a Saturday, to the point where we have a fantastic opportunity to have a Showcase meeting worth $250,000 on the 17th July, and there is also the possibility of having races split, so that could end up being more.”
It has been a huge turnaround for the Narrandera Race Club, which faced the real prospect of closing its doors in the 1980s.
“The club was on its knees in the late 1980s, and could have gone to being a picnic club or not racing at all, but we got it to where it is now and that’s what this town’s spirit is about,” Bailey said.
“We are about to host one of the highest prizemoney sporting events west of Wagga, which is a real feather in the cap of the club.
“It didn’t happen overnight though, and there was lots of hard work from a lot of people to get the club to this point.”
Narrandera is quickly becoming one of the premier winter racing clubs in the state, hosting three meetings in June, July and August, and Bailey hoped that racing continued to flourish at Narrandera and surrounding tracks.
“We have some great racing in this region,” Bailey said.
“With iconic meetings like the Lockhart Picnics, Ardlethan Picnics, Carrathool and Jerilderie, and clubs like Griffith and Leeton have done well recently, and as a region we are doing well, but I want to see all the clubs come into that grand scheme of things, and work with each other to get the best out of local country racing.”
As usual, local sponsors are backing the Narrandera Cup meeting, and Bailey was thankful for the continued support and he highlighted that those major sponsors would receive worldwide coverage on the Sky Racing network.
“We are very lucky to have gained a good amount of sponsorship every year, and this year in particular,” Bailey said.
“It was tough to have race days with no people during Covid, but our sponsors stuck by us, and they are all very local, which is great, and we want to support them and with this meeting being a TAB Showcase meeting, their names will not just go out locally, but across Australia and the world.
“Narrandera races will be bet on in North America, England and Ireland and many other places, and it is a product that many people will enjoy and I’m sure the eight major sponsors will get coverage well beyond what anyone would think is possible in the local area, and it’s a great kudos on them for supporting the club and supporting local.”
In something a little different in 2022, Narrandera Race Club will have fashions on the field returning, and Bailey hoped it rounded off a good race day for families, couples and everyday racegoers.
“We are hoping with the QPL fashions, and entertainment on the day, along with top quality racing, we should have a great day in store for everyone,” Bailey said.
“After the unfortunate occurrences of race meetings being washed out in recent times, I am expecting large nominations, and it will be the best racing that has ever been at Narrandera without a doubt.
“It should be a fantastic day and I encourage everyone in the town and the area to get along and support it.”
While Narrandera prepare for their bumper Narrandera Cup race day, Bailey wanted to reiterate it was only made possible by the work of the current and previous committees in having the race club facilities up to scratch for racing and other community events.
“A lot of people over the years, and a lot of presidents and committees have worked to the point that we have a facility where the town should be very proud,” Bailey said.
“The facility is not only used for racing, but used for a lot of other things because it is a function centre and we have had Indigenous events held there, and we have the Pony Club event coming up shortly.
“The facility is getting better and better, and anything we make out of racing goes back into the facility, which benefits the community.
“We recently finished a large storage shed for our barriers, which were kindly given to us by Racing NSW, and that was a $60,000 investment to protect our half a million dollars barriers.
“We are planning for work to be done on the judging tower, which will make the racing better, and with the upgrade to the irrigation; the lawns and track are in great condition for weddings and other functions, plus a lot of charities use the facility.
“At the end of the day, it is a great multi-purpose facility, and one that is right in Narrandera’s backyard.
Readers can click here to to find out more about the Narrandera Cup race day.
Gates open at 11am on the day and there is full catering and bar facilities, TAB and bookmakers on course, a coffee van and air conditioned function centre and covered heated betting ring.
Major Sponsors for the event include Leeton Toyota, Bill Adams Memorial, QPL Realestate, Sunshine Drycleaners & Wagga Racing Supporters Club, Auswald & Broad Accountants, Elders Narrandera & Coleambally, Narrandera Bakery and Win TV.