Nyngan just happy to be racing again

The Nyngan Jockey Club will host a picnic meeting on Saturday. Photo: Sarsfield Racing Photography

The Nyngan Jockey Club, who are well known for their annual Anzac Day community meeting, will venture into somewhat unchartered waters on Saturday when hosting a picnic race meeting. 

With owners allowed on track, a bookmaker in attendance and some strong races; club secretary and treasurer, Wendy Robb is excited to see racing return to Nyngan.

“We are a club that normally does Anzac day but we haven’t actually had a picnic meeting before, so that should be interesting,” Robb laughed. 

“We are accommodating owners and we have at least one bookmaker, we definitely have Mark Reynolds.”

Unfortunately, the timing of the meeting didn’t quite fit in with recent announcements from the NSW Government and Racing NSW allowing the return of crowds. 

“We just didn’t have the resource’s to whip up everything for a possible 500 people, so we won’t be having a crowd” Robb said. 

“We are hoping to get another meeting at a later date and by then we will have had more time to plan and get organised for a crowd.”

Despite just missing out on the chance to host a crowd, Robb is just pleased to be back racing, after the club was forced to abandon their 2020 Anzac Day meeting. 

“We are happy to be racing, we will be running the meeting to help the three local trainers and three local apprentices and the club is in a financial position to support those who need the racing,” Robb said. 

“The industry needs more picnic racing and we have been saying all along that we are happy to hold more meetings.”

Running a picnic meeting during the Covid-19 crisis isn’t an easy feat though, and Robb thanked Racing NSW for their help throughout the process. 

“Racing NSW has been wonderful, we had council support and then we went to Racing NSW with the plan of racing and we were given the chance to host the Duck Creek meeting that was cancelled, Robb said.”

“There are a lot of things we need to do that are different because of Coronavirus and safety protocol, but we have had help all along the way.” 

Robb specifically thanked country racing administrators, who have guided Robb and the Nyngan Jockey Club through the process, 

“Country Racing NSW and Brian Charman were very supportive and kept constant contact with us, helping with all the regulations that were changing,” Robb said. 

“I had several phone calls from Brian, running me through the new protocol so we could decipher what we could do and couldn’t do.”

Robb has had her moments though, with ever changing government legislation throwing the odd curveball at the small country committee. 

“Organising the meeting itself wasn’t the hard part, but with all the changed regulations in the time since we were granted the meeting; that has been the most difficult thing to contend with,” Robb said. 

If the meeting goes off without a hitch, the Nyngan Jockey Club will be approaching their local council to apply for another meeting, whether that is a TAB, community or picnic meeting. 

“We are hoping to approach the shire after this meeting and potentially host another meeting,” Robb said. 

“There are picnic meetings months away where committees are leaning towards cancelling, so if we can help trainers and if we have the same support from Racing NSW, we would go again easy.”

For those who can’t get to Nyngan on Saturday, the club will be sharing race replays on their Facebook page, keeping participants up to date with results and developments. 

“We will post something for each race, if it isn’t the proper video, it will be me recording it on my phone,” Robb laughed.  

The six-race Nyngan program will kick off with 12pm and runs through to 2.30pm, with the feature race on the program the Packy’s Kanga Hire Nyngan Picnic Cup, which is a $5000 Open Trophy Race over the 1250m.

For those wanting more information, they can visit the Nyngan Anzac Day Races Facebook page.