Cup springs in to new date
Thorntons battle it out for the cup
More than 900 racegoers flocked to the Tatura Racecourse for the first Ladbrokes Tatura Cup to coincide with the Spring Racing Carnival.
The first feature country cup of the carnival, Tatura and Shepparton Racing Clubmanager Jon Dight said it was an improvement to hold the event during spring.
‘‘We might look to shift it back a week or two . . . with football being on,’’ he said.
Mr Dight said the club did not run its cup meeting last season because it wanted to focus all its efforts on making its spring debut a success.
The club paired the new spring cup date with new major sponsor Ladbrokes. It featured free kids’ activities provided by Kelly Sports, as well as a $20 punters club with Rob Gaylard for the grown-ups.
Hot Ruby, ridden by Luke Oliver and trained by Damien Thornton, took out the feature race, the $30 000 Ladbrokes Tatura Cup, which was ran over 1450 m.
‘‘The jockey who rode second, Stephanie Thornton, is actually Damien’s sister,’’ Mr Dight said.
‘‘She was riding Countryman, trained by Mick Kent.’’
Another exciting win was in the Mark Goring Handicap, raced in memory of the jockey who died as a result of a race fall at Tatura in 2003.
‘‘We had a local horse win race six, which was really fantastic,’’ Mr Dight said.
‘‘That was Margot’s Boy ridden by Belinda Dunn.’’
The club’s usual food and beverages were on offer, enhanced by a gourmet barbecue.
‘‘Tatura Cup Day is always about more than just racing,” Mr Dight said. “It’s only going to get bigger and better in the years to come.”
The club looks forward to two more race days scheduled for the 2017-18 racing season.
There will be a Monday race day on October 18 followed by the club’s feature Italian Plate Festival Race Day on Sunday, December 10.
Hot Ruby, ridden by Damien Thornton and trained by Luke Oliver, took out the $30 000 feature Ladbrokes Tatura Cup at the Tatura Racecourse on Saturday.
The race was tightly contested with Damien’s sister Stephanie Thornton riding Countryman, trained by Mick Kent, in to second place.
With a crowd of more than 900 watching on, racegoers were excited when Belinda Dunn rode local horse Margot’s Boy to victory in race six, which was dedicated to the memory of jockey Mark Gorring.
Race day: Racegoers Damon Price, Damien Howe, Nicole West, Scott Ashworth, Raymond Price, Karen Price and Angela Marshall enjoyed Saturday at the Ladbrokes Tatura Cup. For the first time, the cup coincided with the Spring Racing Carnival. Despite a jam-packed weekend of sport across the Goulburn Valley, the event attracted good numbers. For more photos see page 4.
Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos