Tocumwal working hard ahead of big Easter Saturday on and off the track

Ghost Doctor wins the Tocumwal Gold Cup for Victorian trainer James Fraser and jockey Jamie Gibbons. Photo: Trackpix Racing Photography.

The Tocumwal Race Club committee have been working overtime ahead of their Tocumwal Gold Cup meeting on April 8. 

The program lines up nicely with the Easter holiday break, meaning everyone gets back to town for the community-orientated race day. 

“It’s like a family affair, and a chance to meet up and catch up,” said Tocumwal Race Club President, Gary Beer. 

“Lots of people come home every year, and they camp all over the place, and they all meet with family over the Easter break.”

The club caters for families and everyday racegoers, with the committee putting on activities for all ages and demographics. 

“There is lots of kid’s entertainment, like jumping castles, and we are organising face painting and we may even have a clown,” Beer said.

“We will have a sports zone where the kids can kick around a soccer ball and footy, and there is a guy we bring along that supervises at all, plus we have an Easter egg hunt for the younger ones.

“We do have lots of 20-year-olds that come along, and they all get dressed up for fashions on the field and it’s really popular.

“The members area is really popular too, and lots of people get up there, and I’m knocked up selling membership tickets, and it’s going to be big; there is limited numbers left.”

Based on the banks of the Murray River on the NSW and Victorian border, Tocumwal is somewhat of a hidden gem that attracts trainers from both states, and Beer believes the quality of their racecourse continues to lure those same trainers back year after year.

“It’s a good community race day for everyone involved and the surrounds are in terrific condition,” Beer said. 

“Albury trainer Mitch Beer and all the trainers love coming to Tocumwal, and they always say they can’t understand why we only have one race meeting a year, and they say it is equal to, or better than any other track in the Southern Districts.

“There is a lot of work that goes into it, with volunteers manicuring it so it is in good condition.”

Tocumwal offers a generous $20,000 for their cup, and over $80,000 in total for their six-race non-TAB program. 

“Our cup is worth $20,000 but the trophy is worth $900, and every race winner gets a horse rug,” Beer said. 

“Racing NSW have boosted the prizemoney this year, meaning we don’t have to supplement the money, and it is not so hard on the race club, but we have always had good prizemoney so we can get the horses and it’s no different this year. 

Beer envisions Tocumwal hosting more meetings down the track, or at least that is the aim, and his committee continues working hard to get noticed by the powers that be.

“We want to make it a better track for the trainers and jockeys, and we are hoping to get a grant to build a new administration building and make it a lot better for the jockeys and trainers,” Beers said.

While racing does take centre stage at Tocumwal on Easter Saturday, there is plenty happening off-track, and readers can click here for more information. 

Tocumwal Cup trivia

The 2022 Tocumwal Cup was won by the Rodger Waters-trained Sizzleonthebridge ($4.50), which defeated the Bryan Maher-trained Sly Samba Deer in second and the Mitchell Beer-trained Mnementh ran third. 

Interestingly, Mnementh would go on to win at Rosehill Gardens two starts later, while the Albury galloper last raced at Ballarat when winning in town on the 1200m Benchmark 100 sprint on Ballarat Cup day on November 19.