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Gympie's race to remember

HONOUR: Don Birt will be on hand to present the Diggers Cup today.
HONOUR: Don Birt will be on hand to present the Diggers Cup today. Renee Albrecht

RACING: For Don Birt (pictured), today's running of the Diggers Cup means more than just an opportunity to have a punt.

The Gympie Turf Club feature race will be run in honour of his son Ashley who was killed, along with two other soldiers in Afghanistan in 2011 while serving with the Australian Army.

A keen race goer himself, Ashley frequently attended local turf club meets, even making time before his final deployment to Afghanistan to visit the Gympie track from his base in Brisbane.

"It is nice that people can continue to remember Ash,” Mr Birt said.

"He was a patron of the Gympie races and he will be wrapped that he is being remembered,” he said.

The Diggers Cup marks the final race meeting of the Gympie race calendar with the feature carrying a $10,000 prize purse.

Specialist sand tracker, Coonowrin Ruby will start as favourite for the main, 1470m race while Perforation is tipped provide some challenge.

Two additional races featuring Arabian horses have been added to the race card today courtesy of the Australian Arabian Race Club.

The two demonstration races will run at the end of the card taking today's race count to seven.

The GTC has been granted special permission to host these races by Racing Queensland.

Topics:  ashley birt diggers cup races

Gympie Times