Bankstown Mob are Real Sports
Twenty years ago, a handful of members from Bankstown Sports Club set out by chartered plane and car for the Forbes Cup meeting, not knowing what would transpire over the next two decades. Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the association between both organisations with 180 members of Bankstown Sports Club trackside for cup day. If it wasn’t for the backing of the group, the Forbes Cup would be an ordinary meeting in the last month of winter on a bland Monday afternoon. But it’s far from that, with a crowd figure that would surpass what most country Saturday race meetings gather for the afternoon. Bankstown Sports Club spokesman, Graeme Ayling said it was fate that the group decided to support Forbes. “A few of us would have Monday afternoons off and have a punt on the races. We decided to support a country meeting and we chose Forbes,” he said. “I’m one of the two originals from the first year when there were just a few of us. Now there are 180 people from the club who attend and we spend three days at Forbes.” Their support has grown to such an extent that Bankstown Sports Club sponsors the Forbes Cup and have also provided funding for the hospitality area, winning post and part of the toilet amenities. Other associate sponsors through the club are also involved with many first timers and regulars making it an annual ‘must do’ on their calendar. Forbes legend and racecaller, Col Hodges said if it wasn’t for the support of Bankstown Sports Club the meeting wouldn’t be what it is: “It has made a big difference having the sports club involved,” Col said. Ayling said the growth of the meeting meant a lot to Forbes and the business community. “I remember the first year the Calcutta was over in ten minutes and the winner sold for $30,” he said. “This year the drawer of the winner took home about $11,000.” This year’s Forbes Cup was taken home by Tumut trainer Kerry Weir and stable apprentice Megan Taylor when ghostly grey Tea Clipper ($11) narrowly prevailed from favourite Sooner or Later ($4). It was the biggest win of Taylor’s career, while for Weir it was a welcome change of fortune at Forbes after his former stable star Universal Pack fell in the 2011 edition.
A beaming Megan Taylor shows off the Forbes Cup Cowra brother and sister combination, jockey Mathew Cahill and trainer Kathryn, produced a winning double in successive events with Campfire and Two Penny Blue. Forbes secretary, Blake Nicholson said having the support from a city club was crucial for a Monday feature meeting. “They organise a big part of the attendances and the associate sponsors which makes a difference,” he said. “It was a very successful race meeting.”
WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT A SPORTS CLUB FROM BANKSTOWN COULD NOT ONLY PROVIDE CERTAINTY,
BUT BOOST THE PROFILE OF A SMALL COUNTRY RACE CLUB’S FEATURE RACEDAY?