No patrons will be let in to watch the Muster Cup at the Gympie racecourse tomorrow. Photo: Josh Preston
No patrons will be let in to watch the Muster Cup at the Gympie racecourse tomorrow. Photo: Josh Preston

Racing icon questions ‘expensive’ Gympie Turf Club call

RACING: The decision by the Gympie Turf Club committee to not allow public admission to tomorrow’s Muster Cup meeting in Gympie may prove very expensive both for the GTC and the racing industry in Gympie.

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With no income streams available to the GTC from the usual gate, bar and catering proceeds, bookmakers fees and tote commission the GTC still has to pay staff wages plus the usual fees and charges involved in staging a race meeting.

This will probably result in a significant loss to the GTC. Understandably, with no public attendance, sponsors are unwilling to support the Muster Cup meeting. As a result, prizemoney for the Muster Cup has been slashed from the $24,000 of last year to just $7450 this year resulting in a very significant loss to racing participants.

The Gympie Turf Club will not admit any patrons tomorrow.
The Gympie Turf Club will not admit any patrons tomorrow.

Last year’s runner-up Fab’s Cowboy heads the weights tomorrow with a crushing 66kg, which will be reduced by 4kg with apprentice Rebecca Wilson to ride him in the seven horse field. Gympie interest will revolve around the Barry Gill trained Nine Cigars to carry just 55kg.

The Gill stable won two Muster Cups with Harney in 2011 and 2013. Trainer, Lindsay Anderson, who has Clouds in this year Muster Cup won the race with Glenthorn Ave in 2017. There are a total of 54 horses accepting for the five races.

The GTC Committee apparently decided on the no public rule due to the difficult to implement protocols of the COVID Safe Plan to allow this to happen.

It would appear that the time has come for committee members to become more involved in running and organising race meetings and perhaps implementing sections of the protocols to ensure the future of Gympie racing.

It will be a sad day if next October’s Gympie Cup meeting goes the way of tomorrow’s Muster Cup.

Nolan Gympie Muster Cup Race 5 – horse Grande Casadora and jockey Louise Dillon win the main race.
Nolan Gympie Muster Cup Race 5 – horse Grande Casadora and jockey Louise Dillon win the main race.

Only trainers, strappers, stewards, jockeys and GTC staff will be able to attend the Muster Cup. They will be required to BYO food and drink while owners and others interested will be able to see the races live streamed on the GTC Facebook page.

Last year’s Muster Cup was won by the Trevor Thomas-trained Grande Casadora, beating home favourite Fab’s Cowboy by a half length with Fasta than Light third.

Al’s Briefs was fourth followed by Mahratta in fifth. Mahratta, now back with Coast trainer Kristi Best, is top weight in the 1170m BM 50 tomorrow.

Barry Fitzhenry

Turf Topics

Gympie Times


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