After trying for nearly a decade to move the meeting from the colder month of May, Leeton Jockey Club President, Grant Fitzsimon, was happy to announce that the Leeton Cup would be run on April 17.
“I have been involved with the jockey club since 2003, so that’s 18 years, and we have always had our meeting in May, and over the last 10 years I have been trying to get it changed to a better time of the year weather wise,” Fitzsimon explained.
“I’ve been fortunate enough this year to get it changed. This date was available, and Racing NSW have helped us out and we are expecting a bumper crowd.”
The 1600m Leeton Cup headlines a six-race-card, and Fitzsimon said it was important to showcase non-TAB cup meetings, as it gave fringe country horses a chance to race against their own class.
“Being a non-TAB meeting is really important,” Fitzsimon said.
“Wagga is racing on the Sunday and that is a showcase meeting, but the country trainers and horses need that non-TAB meeting, and those trainers appreciate those non-TAB races.
“We had a meeting that was transferred from Carrathool, and they were good fields. We had trainers travel from Menindee, Swan Hill and Cowra and I expect it will be much the same for our cup meeting.”
Leeton Jockey Club will hope to take advantage of the better time slot and a chance to host a big crowd, boasting a huge fashions on the field competition that will tie in nicely with the end of autumn, while kids will be kept busy with free entertainment – making the event an all-round good family day at the races.
“Obviously last year we raced three times and had no crowds, but we are looking forward to seeing heaps of people at the races this year,” Fitzsimon said.
“This year the fashions on the field will be big, with nearly $5000 in prizes spread across all categories and Maple Lane Boutique are the major sponsors – they are a new store in Leeton, and they were keen to get involved.
“We are also offering free kids entertainment and it should be a really good day.”
For punters, racing fans, fashionistas and families – the day looks a rip-roaring way to get the best out of a country race day, and for those interested in attendings, tickets are available online and at the gate.
Gates open at midday and more information can be found on the Leeton Jockey Club Facebook page.