Inverell will host the leading jockeys in the state for the 2017 XXXX Gold Inverell Cup on New Year’s Day.
Inverell’s favourite daughter Rachael Murray will be returning home and hopes to add to her stellar season in the saddle. Murray clearly leads the NSW Country jockey’s premiership with 52 wins since August and also leads the premiership on prizemoney won.
A good day at Inverell will see her break the $1 million barrier in prizemoney for the first time in her career with seven months of the season yet to go. Rachael’s success is a result of renewed determination and many hours of travelling after coming back from a bad injury suffered during her apprenticeship.
Murray will be riding against coastal based Matt McGuren and Ben Looker who have confirmed they will be coming to Inverell. Together with Aaron Bullock from Singleton, Inverell will host four of the top five country jockeys in the premiership doing battle for the record prizemoney on offer.
In addition to the modern day jockeys, Inverell will also have a famous name from the past returning for Cup day. Bill Galletly, now 80, rode three winners of the Inverell Cup in the 1970’s and will be a welcome guest of the Club.
The carnival commences on Boxing Day with a five race card, a live band from mid-day in the open marquee, fashions in the field, free entry until 1 pm and first local race at 2 pm.
Local trainers will be looking to continue the rich vein of winners in recent weeks. Al Foran with Bonnie Sare, Bill Perrett with Cavitation, Wayne Oakenfull with Habsburg and Theresa Lennon with both Azzalin and Dance Chelle have all recorded wins at meetings from Ipswich to Coffs Harbour in the last week.
Feature race on Boxing Day is the Sapphire City Engineering Goodwood Cup over 1200 metres providing a last lead up to the Inverell Cup over 1400 metres six days later.
Todd Payne has the much improved Victory Lass going for an amazing six wins in a row, Theresa Lennon has the flashy grey Azzalin going for three wins in a row and Shane Edmonds has nominated Court Order, the winner of the 2015 Inverell Picnic Race Club Cup.
Luke Berger has engaged Ben Looker to ride Amajill who is new to the stable with recent form on the Gold Coast so the Goodwood Cup will be full of local interest in a 12 horse field.
The Dreamday Marquees Handicap, race 4 on the program, will see the return of Talented Miss who won by over 6 lengths at the same distance on Diggers Cup day at Inverell. Talented Miss will do battle with the consistent The Cabarita Kid who is the joint leader with Mellore in the Picone Summer Stars Bonus.
The locally trained Finishing Card, who won the 2016 Inverell Cup carrying a record weight of 63kgs when ridden by Matt McGuren, is again being aimed at the New Year’s Day feature and has now amassed over $340,000 in prizemoney and is expected to again be the top weight when handicaps are announced next week.