Warren converges for successful Golden Fleece race day

A good crowd was on hand for Warren Jockey Club’s Golden Fleece race day on Saturday. Photo: Hayley Altmann Photography.

Warren Jockey Club kicked off the 2023 racing season on Saturday when hosting a good crowd for their Golden Fleece race day. 

The six-race program headlined the meeting, while the Golden Fleece long lunch proved popular. 

“It was a perfect day,” said Warren Jockey Club President Matt Colwell. 

“We held a long lunch that catered for 90-odd people, and that was sold out, plus we had a good amount over the bar. 

“The crowd was still back a bit from where we’d like it, but the local community well supported it.”

Warren does struggle at this time of year, with farmers well and truly busy ‘picking and planting’, but overall, Colwell said the community got behind their race day. 

The broadacre blokes are planting, the early pickers are picking, and we are hammered with both events,” Colwell said. 

“We can’t jump up and down and complain either. It’s unfortunate timing, but it’s one of those things, and we still get good community support.”

It’s an exciting era for Warren Jockey Club, and Colwell leads a young committee.

The President said it was a good time for the club, with many locals putting their hands up to help at race meetings.

“We actually had three people come and approach us to be part of our committee, and as President, that makes you a bit proud of the club,” Colwell said. 

“Normally, at the end of the year, you are hunting around for a committee, but these people will all come on and help out in some way or the other, and that’s great.

“They will bring some new and fresh ideas, and we might not use all of them, but we’ll cater to what we can, and overall, we have a fantastic young committee.”

Colwell believes there is a good mix of youthful exuberance and experience guiding his club in the right direction. 

“You can’t forget about the older fellas who have long been there. They always get leaned on for race day, with phone calls on what to do and how to manage things, and it’s good to see more and more of those blokes coming back to the club,” Colwell said.

“And we’re not just chasing them for labour, but to be a part of the club going forward, and so we can call on their knowledge of the club and the racing industry.” 

As always, racing took centre stage on Saturday, with six bumper races keeping patrons entertained. 

Warren racecourse is known fondly as the ‘Randwick of the West’, and it didn’t disappoint anyone on Saturday. 

“The track was second to none,” Colwell said. 

“I did venture down into the boy’s locker rooms to ask their opinion of what the track was like, and sometimes it can be a bit hard to get a positive reaction, but it was unbelievable the number of times jockeys would say we should be racing more than four times a year.

“Warren Shire Council have done a terrific job in preparing the track, and for a community event, we are very lucky to be racing on that track.”

The Golden Fleece race day will lead Warren Jockey Club into a big 2023, which includes the Cattleman’s Cup meeting on July 18, the Cotton Cup meeting on November 12, and the Twilights on December 15. 

“This meeting does set us up for a big year,” Colwell said. 

“We have got it down to as sweet as a button. We have great support staff, gate staff, and community members that help us run some grog around, and the committee is very excited for the upcoming year.”

Regarding the racing on Saturday, Ronald Simpson dominated proceedings, with the apprentice booting home a winning double. 

For that story and more, click here

For Warren’s results, click here.