THE Bingara Cup was washed out for the second successive year on Saturday and Walcha Jockey Club officials are hoping they don’t run a similar path this weekend.
Last year’s Walcha Cup meeting had to be moved to Armidale because of heavy rain and Walcha secretary Kevin Ferrier is hoping his club’s course can host this year’s two-day carnival after learning of Bingara’s unfortunate fate.
“I feel sorry for them,” Ferrier said.
“But it does mean we will get a big spin-off in noms from them and the last race at Tamworth on Friday being abandoned too.”
Earlier in the day, Bingara Jockey Club president Sinclair Munro and his committee had to abandon their Cup meeting after inspecting the track with HNWRA chief steward Shane Cullen.
“We looked at the possibility of postponing the meeting to Sunday but the track wouldn’t have dried out,” Cullen said.
Munro was disappointed with the rain.
“Two years in a row,” he said.
“We looked at racing Sunday but it wouldn’t have been right.
“Itw as perfect before Friday night’s rain, when that storm came through.
“It wasn’t big, just enough.”
His club was having a “phantom” meeting on Saturday with a band to entertain the “racegoers’ who were still turning up for a horseless event.
Bingara had increased its prizemoney to $30,000 for the 2013 meeting and that prizemoney level might stay the same, Munro said.
“We have been able to increase it this year and it might stay the same next year but it just depends on a fair few costs we have for this meeting.
“We just hope Walcha can race now.
“There are so many horses now caught in a backlog.”
Walcha racecourse received 18mm of rain Friday night, Ferrier said.
“We had three inches last week so we’ve had our share too,” he said.
“We don’t want much more but we can take a bit more.
“The weather forecast is for it to be fine next week.
“Hopefully it stays fine all week because everything is looking real good.
“I’m out here at the track at the moment and the course and facilities are all shipshape.
“The only good thing about all the washed-out meetings is that we might get more noms.”
Nominations for this Friday and Saturday’s Walcha Jockey Club race meetings close at 11am today.
Walcha has eight TAB races scheduled for Friday’s Cup meeting and another five non-TAB races for Saturday’s meeting.
Feature race Friday is the $30,000 Walcha Cup (1440m) while the $27,000 Ron Martin Memorial Maiden (1000m) and $25,000 Graziers Class 2 Handicap (1000m) are the two main support races.