Horse racing: Bush Battlers Cup added to 2017 Inverell Cup

Giddy up: The 2017 Inverell Cup is set to be "bigger than ever".
Giddy up: The 2017 Inverell Cup is set to be "bigger than ever".

INVERELL Jockey Club will pioneer a novel Battlers Cup as part of its New Year’s Day Inverell Cup meeting – and the annual Tabulam Cup meeting plays a part in that new concept.

The “special conditioned” Battlers Cup ensures the Inverell Cup meeting will be even bigger than normal, said IJC vice chairman Mike Witherdin.

He said Racing NSW has approved a final program for the 2018 Inverell Cup.

He thanked them for their support.

“The club had previously announced approval for the running of the Bush Battlers Cup,” Witherdin said.

“It will be run as a special conditions race over 1400 metres and is only open to horses that have contested races at the nearby one-day clubs’ race meetings.

“To be eligible the horse must have started at either Glen Innes, Deepwater, Bingara, Warialda, Narrabri, Mungindi, Barraba or Bundarra in 2017.

“There is also one qualifying day available to trainers with the running of the iconic Tabulam meeting on Saturday, November 11 where nominations close next Monday,” Witherdin said.

“Tabulam was included in the qualifying clubs as it is the only one day club on the Northern Rivers.

“Racing NSW has approved the retention of the full usual program.

“So Inverell will host nine races including the famous Shorts Handicap over 1010m, the Brian Baldwin Maiden, now run over 1400m, and the Stewarts Grain Trading BM65 over 1600m.”

Witherdin said the Bush Battlers Cup will be named in honour of late IJC president Don Bartlett.

“Don died suddenly in September,” he said. “It was his idea to support the one-day clubs and was put to RNSW prior to his death.”

The IJC will also be looking for a change of luck for the running of their November 18 Community meeting after their family race day was washed out on Caulfield Cup Day.

Meanwhile, Paul Perry leads the Hunter and North West Racing Association trainers premiership with 10 wins, with Sue Grills next best on eight.

They are followed by Kris Lees (seven) and Brett Cavanough, Melissa Dennett and Les Tilley (five).