Ma­reeba Cup shifts

Nui­sance roos and bandi­coots force move from track

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JOR­DAN GERRANS jor­

THE Ma­reeba Cup will not be lost with the race to be trans­ferred to Box­ing Day af­ter to­day’s Ma­reeba An­nu­als had to be shifted to Can­non Park.

The de­ci­sion to move the races came on Wed­nes­day af­ter an in­spec­tion of the track by Rac­ing Queens­land, horse train­ers and Ma­reeba Turf Club of­fi­cials fol­low­ing wal­la­bies, bandi­coots and kan­ga­roos mak­ing a mess of the track.

Ma­reeba Turf Club sec- re­tary John Thur­low con­firmed the Ma­reeba Cup and Bracelet will run on De­cem­ber 26.

“Rac­ing Queens­land have been great to let us run both the Ma­reeba Cup and Bracelet races on Box­ing Day later this year,” Thur­low said.

“This year the wal­la­bies and kan­ga­roos have been worse than usual be­cause it has been so dry.

“Ob­vi­ously we’re upset that we can’t have such a big race day on our track but it will still be a great day and we urge ev­ery­one to come along.”

The Ma­reeba Cup was set to be run as a Bench­mark 65 to­day but will in­stead be run as a Bench­mark 55 later this year.

Ear­lier this year the club re­ceived a grant to put up a fence to help keep kan­ga­roos and wal­la­bies off the track but it has not been com­pleted.

With the Ma­reeba An­nu­als shifted to Cairns Jockey Club, the Ma­reeba train­ers will be out for a big day as John Par­sons and Alex Mal­liff send starters to the five-race card.

Par­sons’ Rob­bers Roost will start as the top-weight in the Class 6 Plate (950m) first-up from a spell.

“He will go all right if the track is good, he does not like the wet track,” Par­sons said.

“He had not had a start since late last year and won first-up at Laura in June.”

Mal­liff will start Wild Diva in the fea­ture event of the day, the $10,000 Bench­mark 65 Hand­i­cap (1500m) to fin­ish the card.

Mean­while, pro­lific ap­pren­tice hoop Emily Cass looks set to re­main in the Far North de­spite a mooted re­lo­ca­tion to fur­ther her rid­ing in Rock­hamp­ton.

Cass, who rode in Cen­tral Queens­land last week, has a strong book of rides at Can­non Park to­day.

The 25-year-old was set to work for Rock­hamp­ton trainer Tim Cook but Cook yes­ter­day said he ex­pects Cass to re­main rid­ing in the Far North.

The first of five jumps from Can­non Park at 1.15pm this af­ter­noon.

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