Sapphire Coast Turf Club are in the swing of things yet again for their upcoming Saddle-Up Sunday meeting held on the June long weekend (Sunday June 9).
Held in conjunction with the Merimbula Jazz Festival which has brought tourists to the region for the past 32 years, SCTC are forging a new tradition with Saddle-Up Sundays.
Sapphire Coast has combined with the jazz festival for the past 15 years, but Club President Robin Bain believes the addition of the Saddle-Up Sunday sponsorship adds an extra dimension to the meeting.
“It’s just fantastic, Saddle-Up Sundays are great for country racing,” Ms Bain said.
“We had a fifteen per cent increase in on-course attendance from the Saddle-Up Sunday meeting last year.
“People tend to come from all over for this weekend but a lot of racegoers are people in Canberra and Queanbeyan where the weather isn’t too favourable.
“We find they (Saddle-Up Sundays) give a fantastic edge to the race meeting, so apart from just the jazz festival race meeting, being a Saddle-Up Sunday meeting ties it together really well and gives it that extra promotional value.
“It’s also an excellent way for the club to thank the sponsors that support us all year round so to have a nice lunch with them is just a lovely way for us to reengage with them.”
Another key to the success of the raceday is its time-slot in relation to the festival.
The Club has found that the meeting achieves success because the Jazz festival starts on Friday and by the time Sunday arrives; tourists are looking for something relaxing where they can find some sun, sit on the lawns and have a nice lunch at the races.
Sapphire Coast remains with the theme though, with jazz bands dotted around the track allowing racegoers still get the vibe of the weekend and listen to the music but enjoy the racing at the same time.
The feature event of the eight-race card is the Merimbula Jazz Festival Cup held over 1200m. The Club has received some early interest from very prominent provincial trainers such as Bede Murray and John and Donna Grisedale.
Club secretary Robert Tweedie said the track has received little rain of late and will be in fantastic order for the meeting.
The Sapphire Coast Turf Club is located on a picturesque 300 acre site at Kalaru, between Bega and Merimbula.
Source : gocountryracing.com.au