Old girl’s grand re­turn

Much-loved CE Na­son Grand­stand re­stored in time for Su­rat Cup

Balonne Beacon - - SPORT - Joshua Macree joshua.macree@west­ern­starnews.com

HORSE RAC­ING: Not even the ris­ing mer­cury could stop hun­dreds of pun­ters flock­ing to the Su­rat Cup on Satur­day, as a grandiose five-race pro­gram de­liv­ered thrilling ac­tion.

While the thun­der of hoofs en­thralled a parochial crowd, it was the open­ing of the re­stored Charles E Na­son grand­stand which was the talk­ing point of the day.

Su­rat Dig­gers Club pres­i­dent Donna Ste­wart said the grand­stand – com­pleted only a day be­fore the races – paid trib­ute to the Na­son fam­ily which helped fund the orig­i­nal struc­ture. “Af­ter a lot of work by a ded­i­cated band of vol­un­teers and spon­sors who sup­plied all the ma­te­ri­als for the restora­tion of the grand­stand, we re-ded­i­cated the CE Na­son Grand­stand to the mem­ory of Charles Na­son,” she said.

“It has been a mam­moth task to re-fur­bish this grand­stand be­cause it had to be all stripped back to the bare-boards and re-built.

“This has been made pos­si­ble by a small group of vol­un­teers and we ap­pre­ci­ate it very much.”

Ms Ste­wart said the day was well sup­ported.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple here to­day which is just fan­tas­tic to see, so it has been a re­ally good day and the weather has just turned it on for us,” she said.

Tak­ing out Race 3, the Su­rat Dig­gers Cup, was Price­less de Hero, round­ing off a suc­cess­ful day for St Ge­orge trainer Pat Web­ster, who also claimed Race 5 hon­ours with Naranja.

In the ever-pop­u­lar fash­ions of the field, Chris Packer took out best-dressed con­tem­po­rary lady while Leanne and Clint Ash­bacher won best-dressed cou­ple.

PHOTO: JOSHUA MACREE

COM­ING HOME: The Pat Web­ster-trained Naranja (left) takes out Race 5 at the Su­rat Cup meet­ing on Satur­day.

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