TRACK’S CUP DAY REVELRY
Changes won’t halt Cup Day at Murwillumbah
WHILE it’s the race that stops a nation, the departure of Tweed River Jockey Club’s long-term secretary manager won’t stop Murwillumbah.
Expecting thousands to roll through the gates at the little track among the canefields on Tuesday when Australia stops for the Melbourne Cup, TRJC chairman Bernie Quinn said it would be business as usual, despite the unusual lead-up without Quinn’s right-hand man at the club, Brian Charman.
Quinn – Australia’s longest-serving racing chairman at 43 years in the role – said after 13 years, Charman’s rise to executive officer for Country Racing NSW had left a big hole, but the marquees were going up, a new chef was ready to make his mark and fashions on the field would once again dazzle.
“Brian has gone up the tree and it’s a great move for him,” Quinn said.
“He was superb. He’d been on the board for 13 years and secretary manager for three and a half, but the show must go on.”
Despite showers predicted for Tuesday, Quinn said the weather wouldn’t dampen spirits, with a six-race card ready to run on a “fantastic surface”.
Bouncing back from severe flooding and badly damaged facilities in March, Quinn said the club’s endeavour to survive had the track in excellent condition, with a successful day of racing expected.
Trainer Paul Nipperess, who made the move to his Murwillumbah base from Ballina for more track-work opportunities, was also impressed with the surface leading into Tuesday.
Nipperess, the son of champion trainer of 55 years Kevin Nipperess, makes a Cup Day at Murwillumbah return with his four-year-old gelding Much Deeper, which is running in race two, the Tweed Daily News Maiden Plate.
“It’ll be my first run here in years and it’s a great starting point for horses coming back from a spell as they only run up to eight horses in a race,” Nipperess said.
“But Melbourne Cup day at Murwillumbah is great, and the fashions on the field is unbelievable.”
Gates open from 10am and admission is $20 per person ($15 for pensioners). Buses run from the Gold Coast and Tweed for $10 return, starting at 9.45am (NSW). Bookings are essential, visit http://bit.ly/2xsun7p.
EXCITEMENT MOUNTS: Murwillumbah track worker Courtney Moorhouse works unraced three-year-old Look Out Boy ahead of Tuesday’s races.