Camels aren’t made for speed but the ships of the desert will be hitting the Gympie Showgrounds Racecourse today for Melbourne Cup Day celebrations.
Camels aren’t made for speed but the ships of the desert will be hitting the Gympie Showgrounds Racecourse today for Melbourne Cup Day celebrations. Craig Warhurst

Camel Races ready to go

CAMELS aren’t particularly polite when it comes to table manners – gulping down their food to regurgitate and chew it later.

But at today’s Melbourne Cup Day at the Gympie Showgrounds Racecourse, a group of camels will be parting with their food long enough to indulge in a bit of competition.

The Gympie Turf Club’s annual camel races have returned to celebrate the Melbourne Cup and everything the race that stops a nation represents.

Gympie racing commentator Barry Fitzhenry is tipping a great day trackside.

“A large crowd is expected to participate in the day’s festivities,” he said.

The camel races are a novelty event to watch as apprehensive riders mount their animals and do everything within their powers to stay on.

There are a host of different styles. Some riders choose to vocalise their efforts, screaming madly as their camel veers on and off course at will, while others carry a look of sheer determination laced with a healthy dose of fear.

There will be six camel races in total with the program getting underway at 1pm.

Local identities will be taking part in a celebrity race, putting themselves on the line as they vie for honours.

Punters looking at filling the stands should prepare for a belly laugh during each of the six camel races.

And don’t think a bit of vocal encouragement on the sidelines won’t spur on the camels.

Camels may have small ears but they have excellent hearing.

The unique Melbourne Cup Day has proven a real winner over the years in celebrating Australia’s greatest race.

Also getting in on the action today is Little Haven Palliative Care, using the event as one of its major fundraising activities on the calendar.

Little Haven will be hosting the Melbourne Cup Luncheon with all funds raised dedicated towards providing care and assistance to those terminally ill in the region.

Meanwhile, Fitzhenry issued a challenge to Gympie ladies to use the big day as a chance to show off their fashion sense.

The always popular Fashions of the Field will be back in full force and exist as the second last opportunity to go into the draw for a $3000 giveaway on November 27 – the Gympie Turf Club’s last race day.

This year’s Melbourne Cup program has been brought forward so the Gympie Showgrounds racecourse will be swinging into full gear from 9.30am with all betting facilities open for business.

Gympie Times


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