Glen Innes Jockey Club shows interest in hosting more race meetings

DAY AT THE RACES: Kerryn Pryor from Gunnedah with locals Helen Tucker and Marie Rizidis, and Sharryn Usher and Robert Usher from Grafton at the Glen Innes Cup on Saturday. Picture: Andrew Messenger
DAY AT THE RACES: Kerryn Pryor from Gunnedah with locals Helen Tucker and Marie Rizidis, and Sharryn Usher and Robert Usher from Grafton at the Glen Innes Cup on Saturday. Picture: Andrew Messenger

Could Glen Innes have three race meetings a year?

Max McConnell, vice president of the Glen Innes Jockey Club said Saturday’s Glen Innes Cup was so successful it could be on the agenda in the future.

"My word, it was very successful,” he said.

“In our overall takings, crowd behaviour - the band was good. The whole day was a success for sure.

“When I first came here in the middle 80s, they had 12 meetings a year. There was one a month - 8 TAB meetings, and four non-TAB meetings.”

He said there was clearly plenty of enthusiasm in Glen and they could happily sustain a three-race meeting calendar, either leading up to the Cup or with the Cup as the middle race meet.

“We wouldn’t have a meeting in the winter months. It’s too cold.”

Mr McConnell said their ticketing system hobble efforts at estimating crowd size, but guesstimated the crowd was down 100-200 punters.

But despite the potentially weaker attendance, bookies, food stands and the bar earned substantially greater takings.

More money means it’s easier to convince Racing NSW that Glen Innes can sustain more than one race a year.

Saturday’s race was the first outing of a new finish line, completed with grants from the Department of Crown Lands.

The club has also refurbished the memorial wall.

Upgrades continue, with plans to landscape an area of the racecourse near the highway.

Rotary will help to construct a new car park and rest stop near the racecourse featuring a broken windfarm blade.

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