Sport

Trainers supportive of Weetwood date change

Michael Nolan trained mare Miss Imagica wins this year's Weetwood Handicap.
Michael Nolan trained mare Miss Imagica wins this year's Weetwood Handicap. Nev Madsen

TOOWOOMBA trainer Michael Nolan says moving the Weetwood Handicap to a Saturday night will only strengthen the reputation of the city's signature race.

The radical date change comes as officials look to revitalise the race in the face of low entry numbers and the deteriorating quality of fields.

Nolan finally secured his first Weetwood victory this year with Miss Imagica after a 21-year Clifford Park training career.

He said he supported the change from the traditional Thursday timeslot help the Weetwood keep its prestige and listed status.

"Who cares if it's two days later?" Nolan said.

"It's our signature race. Everyone wants to win it locally and everyone wants to be in it.

"The Toowoomba Turf Club had to make a decision to keep its listed status and the prize money at that same level.

"We won it for the first time this year and it was an enormous thrill. We'll be back to try and win it again next year.

"It'll still be as strong as any other time and it's still a great race."

Fellow Toowoomba trainer Mark Webb said he was happy the Weetwood had kept its listed status but said the success of the move wouldn't be know until after the first Saturday meet.

"Different things have got to be tried at times," he said.

"The committee told us that Weetwood would lose its listed status if it was kept on a Thursday and we couldn't let that happen.

"It's just a case of wait and see whether (the move is) a success."
 

Topics:  clifford park, mark webb, michael nolan, weetwood handicap



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