Bankstown Mob are Real Sports

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

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.”



Story by Graeme White • Images by Ja­nian Mcmil­lan

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