Tabulam Racing Club: action returns to the venerable track on Saturday

Winning Saturday’s $7000 Tabulam Cup will secure a berth in January 1’s $20,000 Bush Battler’s Cup (1400m) at Inverell. Photo: Harold Konz
Winning Saturday’s $7000 Tabulam Cup will secure a berth in January 1’s $20,000 Bush Battler’s Cup (1400m) at Inverell. Photo: Harold Konz

MILTON King has been secretary of the Tabulam Racing Club for 26 years and welcomes in another special day at the once-a-year race meeting on Saturday.

The TRC will stages five non-TAB races and host around 2000 visitors.

Not bad for a village of around 100 souls.

“There would be a hundred living in the village but we have a big agricultural district,” King said.

“We’ll have 2000 here Saturday. Always a huge day. And we always race the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup.”

It has been a tradition that has flourished for many, many years, he said of one of the oldest race clubs in the state.

“We’ve been racing for 150 years,” King advised.

One thing he didn’t realise, though, is the fact the Inverell Jockey Club has included the Tabulam Cup meeting in the IJC’s new Bush Battlers’ Cup race, a race restricted to horses that have raced at iconic once-a-year meetings such as Tabulam, Bingara, Bundarra, Glen Innes and Deepwater.

“That’s good of them,” King said of another factor to promote the Tabulam Cup meeting.

“We also get good support from the trainers in South East Queensland too.

“I’m not sure if they get the $250 starters bonus we have down here but the Queensland trainers support us well.”

Indeed Ben Robinson, based at Beaudesert, has three runners in the six-horse $7000 Yugilbar Pastoral Co Sam Hordern Memorial Tabulam Cup (1400m) tomorrow – Champagne Rock, Red Bohemia and Token Gesture.

Coffs Harbour trainer Sally Taylor runs Finnegan while Casino trainer Stephen Bennett has the other two runners – Traconi and Would Be A Bonus.

Traconi is a last start Casino winner over 1000m on October 28. The six-year-old daughter of Nicconi is a winner at Tabulam and chases a sixth career win for Bennett, who is a butcher by a trade with a small team of four horses in work for a “hobby”.

“She won there (Tabulam) last year,” Bennett said.

“Won a Class 2. Would Be a Bonus won there the year before too. Won a 1720m race.”

Eight-year-old gelding, Would Be A Bonus, resumes from a spell chasing a fifth win and a second Tabulam cup for Bennett.

“I won it with Dictatorship a couple of years ago and ran second last year with Strawberry Champagne.

“It’s always a big day out there. Like the Melbourne Cup of the north.”

Tabulam is only about 50km west of Casino “across the range” and along the Bruxner Highway towards Tenterfield, Stephen Bennett said.

He also has Terahlee starting in the first race of teh day, the Casino RSM Club Benchmark 45 Handicap (1720m) while his other horse, Cantillate, runs at Ballina on Monday. 

There are also $500 bonuses for the most successful trainer and jockey on the day at Tabulam on Saturday.