Ballina Cup almost sold out, conditions set to be perfect
Billed as one the region's social and racing events of the season, the 2021 Ballina Cup will be galloping down the straight on Friday, January 15.
Ballina Jockey Club general manager, Mathew Bertram, said along with local trainers, there will be some with national reputations seeking a win in the main race over 1590m with its $30,000 purse for first place.
Bertram said the club had taken exceptional care to ensure the event would be celebrated under strict pandemic protocols.
"We want to ensure the crowd we have will be managed according to safe COVID-19 regulations," he said.
"We will have around 900 to 1000 people enjoying our hospitality although there will be no free buses or live music this year.
"But it will still be a great day out on a smaller scale."
Bertram said the VIP marquee was fully self-contained with reserved seating and the ticketed entry allows and all you can enjoy food and beverage package.
Bertram said the event is "almost, but not yet, sold out."
"We are nearing capacity in the indoor areas and if members want to attend they must pre-book," he said.
"The public bar is also available as are the general entry on the lawn areas and grandstand with tables and chairs but again on a pre-booked basis."
He said the weather forecast "will be really good".
"On Tuesday the track rating is a 5 which is just about perfect," he said.
"By Friday should be a 4 which is optimum for us."
He said the Ballina Cup looks to have its usual high standard of quality entrants with one horse to watch is 2019 winner and 2020 second-placed Nothingforthepress, trained by Stephen Lee and owned by Bangalow resident Greg Nash.
The seven-year-old gelding has won $198,145 to date and its jockey on board will wear the familiar yellow and red silks with the green shamrock.
Bertram said leading trainers including Matthew Dunn, Chris Lees, Brisbane's Chris Anderson, Benalla, Victoria trainer Russell Osbourne and Murwillumbah's Ed O'Rourke all have prime horses racing on the day.
"We are looking forward to fabulous day out at Ballina Jockey Club," he said.
Ballina Cup tickets here.