BENALLA’S GOLD CUP IS COMING
Benalla Racing Club is as ready as it is going to be for the 2018 bet365 Benalla Gold Cup on September 28.
With the grand final eve public holiday, the spring racing carnival in full swing and strong interest from top trainers, a big crowd is expected.
The only thing standing between now and the $125 000 is the state of the track.
And the club’s track manager Edward Higgins said it was, well, on track.
Higgins said it had been shaping nicely through the winter and the coming warmer weather would be icing on the cake.
‘‘The running surface is looking good, and has benefited from good coverage all round,’’ Higgins said.
‘‘Right now it is already sitting around a good five.’’
In terms of the new track rating system, the five means the track is soft, with a reasonable amount of give in it.
Conditions Higgins said were perfect this far out from the race day.
With just 16 days to the blue-ribbon event on the local racing calendar Higgins said he was confident the track would continue to stay in top shape. ‘‘It should be terrific on the day,’’ he said. ‘‘Long range showers are predicted between now and then, but that is nothing the track can’t handle.’’
With plenty of preparation still to be done, the track will be fertilised again before the bet365 Benalla Gold Cup is run.
That will be followed by aeration and Higgins said to manicure the track for the big day it would be trimmed to the perfect length.
It has not been raced on since May, so the first meeting of the new season will benefit from the recovery period.
Higgins said there was just one other element he hoped would fall into place for the occasion: ‘‘It’s the one thing we can’t control, but hopefully we get great weather for the day.’’
High maintenance: Benalla Racing Club track manager Edward Higgins checks over the track in preparation for September 28.