Big Dance Focus Turns Towards Friday’s Orange Cup

Another door will swing open for the Big Dance with the running of Friday’s $75,000 The Ophir Hotel Orange Gold Cup over 2100m.

The winner of the race is eligible for the $3m Big Dance run at Royal Randwick in November.

It will be a big day’s racing at Orange this Friday. Image by Janian McMillan (Racing Photography)

Last year’s Orange Cup was highlighted by a massive plunge on the winner Unamerican which was backed from his opening price of $26 to be sent out the $3.90 favourite.

Despite over-racing for a majority of the event, the gelding came away to win with ease under the guidance of Winona Costin.

This year’s festivities start the day before with a Cup Calcutta at the Robin Hood Hotel from 6pm on Thursday with special guests Dave Stanley (Sky Racing Radio) and racecaller Col Hodges.

Tickets for horses in the Cup Calcutta go on sale at the Robin Hood Hotel tomorrow with TAB having extra promotions and general admission tickets to give away.

“We have had a very successful race season at Racing Orange and we are looking forward to a fantastic event to finish it off with Orange Cup Day,” said Bree McMinn, Racing Orange’s general manager.

Racing Orange will have a Fashions on the Field on Cup Day with courtesy buses operating and catering options available.

Friday’s race meeting is a Country Showcase program carrying $340,000 in prizemoney and the supporting race is the $35,000 Cup Day Showcase Sprint over 1000m.

On Sunday, Muswellbrook Race Club will hold a seven-race TAB meeting that bears special significance to ANZAC Day with the feature event the Lone Pine Charge.

The unique trophy for the $30,000 Lone Pine Charge is an 18-pounder artillery round mounted on specific wood commemorating the ANZACs ‘Battle of Lone Pine’ during August 1915.

The trophy’s base is Cypress Pine, an Australasian native timber, along with Olivewood which is the national wood of Turkey.

Seeds from the original Lone Pine have been planted throughout Australia and New Zealand with one seed planted at Muswellbrook’s Cenotaph.

It is also a Racing NSW Country Showcase meeting with $201,000 in prizemoney.

And down south former trainers, jockeys, owners, bookmakers and racegoers are invited to Leeton to help mark the 80th anniversary of Leeton Jockey Club on Saturday, CopRice Leeton Cup Day.

The celebrations will include an anniversary cake to be cut by one of the nation’s oldest full-time trainers and long-time club stalwart Peter Clancy.

Racegoers can compete in the Fashions on the Field with a host of prizes with live music on the lawn and free children’s entertainment.

LTC’s president Grant Fitzsimon said trainers, jockeys, owners, sponsors and committee members who either raced, volunteered or contributed to the club during its history were invited to attend the meeting.

Mr Fitzsimon said a special souvenir program of the club’s history would be printed as an adjunct to the race guide.

“The Club has a very proud history and has always had strong support from the Leeton community across eight decades including volunteers watering and mowing the track and maintaining the grounds,” he said.

“We would love to see as many familiar faces as possible from our past to attend the CopRice Leeton Cup and help us mark this milestone.”

Nominations from throughout NSW, ACT and Victoria are expected for the six-race program featuring $74,000 in prizemoney.

– Racing NSW

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