Sunday cup day
Horsham and District Racing Club is ready to celebrate the return of the Millers Horsham Cup to its traditional Sunday running at the weekend.
The cup has been run on Friday for the past four years after a Racing Victoria scheduling clash forced a change of days.
Cup attendance suffered due to the change and the club successfully lobbied Horsham Rural City Council to replace the Melbourne Cup public holiday with a Horsham Cup public holiday last year.
The move was opposed by local businesses unwilling to lose a Friday trade day.
With the cup now returned to Sunday, Horsham and District Racing Club manager Lisa Inkster said the club, local businesses and the community would all benefit.
“We were very disappointed the previous Friday date couldn’t work locally,” she said.
“We are happy to have the cup back on Sunday though, because it was never our choice to move dates in the first place.
“We are delighted with the business support for a return to Sunday.
“The hope and the expectation going forward is that the Horsham Cup is now permanently back to being on Sunday.”
Mrs Inkster said she was unsure if attendance would recover immediately, as some members of the community were still unaware the cup had been changed back to a Sunday.
“I still have people asking me when the cup is going to be,” she said.
“I would expect it’s going to take a couple of years to rebuild the attendance numbers to where they were.”
Mrs Inkster said nominations were strong across the board for the eight-race meeting. Among the regional trainers to nominate for the $50,000 feature race are Horsham’s Simon Gebert and Stawell father-daughter duo Terry and Karina O’sullivan.
Wimmera export Darren Weir has also nominated, as has Warrnambool’s Matthew Williams with last year’s cup winner Our Bottino.
Prominent trainers to nominate in other races include Archie Alexander and Eric Musgrove. Fields for the cup will be finalised tomorrow. A notable feature of Sunday’s meeting will be the 2100-metre benchmark-64 handicap in race six.
Mrs Inkster said it would be the first time in many years the cup meeting had a race over that distance. Usually the longest race at the meeting is the 1800-metre feature.
The day will feature plenty of off-track entertainment, with live music and a fashions on the field competition sponsored by Priceline Pharmacy.
There will also be children’s entertainment and a children’s fashions category.
Mrs Inkster said tickets for the cup could be purchased online, with general admission tickets available for $15 on the Country Racing Victoria website until Saturday or $20 at the gate on Sunday.
Tickets for the Texan Warney marquee are also available at https://country.racing.com with an offer of three tickets for the price of two available to those who purchase through the website.
Gates will open at 11am, with racing to start about 1pm.
• Aaron Jennings is the winner of The Weekly Advertiser Horsham Cup feature giveaway for coming up with the horse name Better Hoof It. Mr Jennings will receive three tickets to the Texan Warney marquee on Sunday.