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Unprecedented Racing Entries Flood in for Cup Week
Hot on the heels of a bumper Ladies Day, Cluden Park is set to host one of the biggest carnivals in years with near record entries for this week’s Lightning and Townsville Cup race meetings.
The Townsville Turf Club has received a total of 367 entries for 16 races across Lightning Day (175) on Thursday and Cup Day (192) on Saturday.
In an unprecedented move, Racing Queensland have announced that due to record entries, an additional $50,000 Consolation Race, the Cape Cleveland, has been added to Saturday’s race program to cater for those horses missing out on a start in the feature $100,000 Cleveland Bay.
This follows on from the aggressive approach to split oversupplied races recently to greater assist the North Queensland Racing Industry.
Club President Malcolm Petrofski has applauded Racing Queensland for taking such a proactive step in rewarding not only the Club, but the entire North Queensland Racing Industry for their ongoing support.
“It is an absolute honour and privilege for the Townsville Turf Club to receive this level of support and faith in North Queensland Racing, a huge vote of confidence in our Industry Stakeholders, our Racing, as well as our Track and Facilities from Racing Queensland”
“Our great Club wouldn’t be able to operate without our local owners and trainers who continue to show their support, in helping to provide record racing participation at the Hub of Racing in North Queensland, being Cluden Park Townsville” Mr Petrofski said.
This week’s flood of entries follows on from a big start to the carnival with in excess of 4,000 patrons in attendance for Ladies Day on Saturday.
Club president Malcolm Petrofski said the huge number of nominations was a great sign that racing was enjoying a resurgence.
“The carnival got off to a fantastic start with great racing and a big crowd on Ladies Day and going on the entries we’ve received for Thursday and Cup Day it’s just going to get bigger,” Mr Petrofski said.
“We haven’t seen these sorts of numbers in the nominations for many years if at all.
“It is a great sign that the racing industry is bouncing back in the regions and our carnival is high on everyone’s list.
“We have horses entered from here in Townsville, Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands, Mackay, Rockhampton, the western districts and from as far away as the south east of the State.
“That level of support is just amazing and we’re extremely grateful to all of the owners and trainers who are planning on running their horses at Cluden Park this week.
“We’re looking forward to some of the best racing we’ve seen at Cluden in years.”
The club has already pulled off a coup with champion jockey Willie Pike and Brisbane based Kiwi star Samantha Collett both riding on Thursday’s Lightning Handicap card.
They will also be special guests at the Townsville Cup Calcutta night at the track on Thursday evening.
The all-important barrier draws for the Cleveland Bay Handicap and the Townsville Cup will be conducted at Strand Park on Wednesday night opposite to the Picnic Bay SLSC.
The Cleveland Bay Barrier Draw is scheduled to commence at 6:30pm, shortly followed by the Townsville Cup. This is a free event for the racing community and all patrons are welcome to attend.