Deepwater cancelled, Moree Twilights heavily altered

The Deepwater Cup has been cancelled.
The Deepwater Cup has been cancelled.

Two of the most popular meets on the region's racing calendar have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to restrictions on crowds, the 2021 Deepwater Cup has been cancelled while the Moree Race Club has been forced to alter their annual Christmas Twilight event.

Both events attract thousands of punters to their events every year.

The non-TAB Deepwater Cup meet is the only racing seen at the village's racecourse every year.

The 2020 races were also cancelled due to rainfall but social events proceeded.

The Deepwater Jockey Club released a statement on their Facebook page on Tuesday announcing the cancelling of the January 23 event.

"The Deepwater Jockey Club Committee have worked extremely hard for many months but unfortunately have exhausted all options to move forward with our race day," they said.

"Due to COVID protocols and our current infrastructure we are unable to guarantee a COVID-Safe event for all patrons and racing participants and we are left with no option but to cancel 2021."

"In typical country spirit the Deepwater Jockey Club will be turning this negative into a positive by working hard on club improvements throughout the year.

"We look forward to welcoming you all back to the track and creating more great memories like the ones below."

Moree will be proceeding with a race meet on December 19 but none of their usual festivities will be conducted.

They also have a 500 person limit on crowd numbers, only allowing over 18s.

"It is with a heavy heart, and after many months of deliberation, exploring different avenues and consultation with the local licensing authorities, that the Club has made the decision that in 2020, with the impact of COVID restrictions, it is not financially viable for us to hold our usual Christmas Twilight Races," the Moree Race Club posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

"We do have a race meeting scheduled for Saturday 19th December, so in their place will be the Summer Races to be held with a limit of 500 patrons that will consist of sponsors, members, owners and a very limited number of general admission tickets.

"We will also be limiting patrons to 18 years and above."