Nyngan Cup gets Anzac Day upgrade

Ocean Hero won the 2021 Nyngan Cup for jockey Andrew Banks and trainer Michael Lunn. Photo: Racing Photography.

Nyngan Jockey Club will be hoping that a better class of horse contests their Anzac Day racing meeting on April 25.

The club has upgraded their Nyngan RSL Nyngan Cup from a Benchmark 58 to a Benchmark 66 Handicap, and prizemoney has increased from $12,000 to $14,000, with the club kicking in the extra cash to help lure a better class of horse for their feature race. 

The 1400m feature highlights a six-race-program of Western Districts racing action, and Nyngan Jockey Club Secretary Wendy Robb hopes their efforts lead to a strong cup field. 

“We went up from a (Benchmark) 58 to a 66 just to try and attract better horses,” Robb said. 

“We have added the extra money, and we see it as a way to attract some better trainers and hopefully better fields.”

Nyngan raced in 2021, and Michael Lunn and Andrew Banks combined to win the Nyngan Cup with Ocean Hero in front of a good crowd.

With the pandemic and restrictions now easing, Robb was hopeful that a big crowd would get out to support the club and enjoy a day at the races on Anzac Day.

“We were probably pretty lucky last year. A lot of the Covid stuff lifted for us to race and it wasn’t too bad, and a lot of people came back to the races,” Robb said. 

“Now that Covid has basically left us, it should be a good crowd.”

Being an Anzac Day meeting, the race club will work in closely with the Nyngan RSL Club to make it a big day for the town.

“They will have Two-up at Nyngan RSL Club with the courtesy bus going to and from the races,” Robb said. 

“We have the calcutta on the Sunday night at the RSL and we had a group of boys last year that bought the winner for $600 and got near $4000, and they were stoked and had an absolutely huge night.”

Nyngan race twice a year, with the jockey club hosting their Nyngan Cup meeting on April 25, while Duck Creek Picnic Race Club host their picnic meeting on July 2 and Robb said both meetings had their local and travelling fan bases.

“The town loves both of their race meetings, but the locals in particular love our meeting,” Robb said.

“It’s not overwhelming or anything and a lot of locals and families support Anzac Day because it is a family friendly, easy-going sort of day.”

“We have a free luncheon, free kids’ activities for the kids and it’s just a good day at the races.”

Robb also explained that all ladies on course would get the chance to experience owning a racehorse for the day – even getting a few tasty bonuses if their horse wins one of the six races on the program.

“We have a great initiative called ‘Ladies Own the Dream’ whereby all ladies own a particular racehorse for the day,” Robb said.

“Each ‘owner’ is able to join the presentation with the owners, jockey and trainers after each race and receive a bunch of flowers and a bottle of bubbly.

“This is all free and courtesy of Nyngan Jockey Club committee members.”

It shapes to be a big day for the ladies at Nyngan, with a bumper fashions on the field competition attracting racegoers from far and wide. 

For more information about the Nyngan Anzac Day race meeting, readers can click here.