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Winners are grinners

Monday, 24th October, 2011

PROUD MUM: Julie Grace is among the first to congratulate son Lester after his win in the Silver City Cup. PROUD MUM: Julie Grace is among the first to congratulate son Lester after his win in the Silver City Cup.

Some close competition on and off the track has ensured this year’s Silver City Races will long be remembered by many of the punters and fashionistas who turned out on Saturday.

A photo finish in the feature race event, which gave a young jockey his breakthrough win, provided the highlight on day of dirt track racing and revelry.

Despite a warmer-than-average top of 31 degrees - which ensured the fluids kept flowing - organisers said the crowd was definitely up on last year’s event.

In fact, Silver City Cup Committee President Christine Kersten declared the day a resounding success with more than 2,000 people attending.

“The racing has been absolutely wonderful, the patronage is well up on last year. The day has been wonderful,” Mrs Kersten said.

The ever-popular fashion competitions were a hit with the crowds who were treated to a procession of fine fillies.

“The Fashions on the Field was very, very popular. (Packed to the Rafters) stars Hugh (Sheridan) and George (Houvardas) have been so popular with everyone,” Mrs Kersten said.

The action was pretty hot on the track as well with Let Him Loose, ridden by 16-year-old jockey Lester Grace, winning the Silver City Cup feature race in a blanket finish.

It was just one of many stories to come out of an action-packed day of racing.

“A big plus on race day is that our first race was won by trainer Kevin Adcock who is a first time trainer and it was his first race,” Mrs Kersten said.

Club Vice President Dave Gallagher said the patronage of locals would ensure the city’s oldest racing club would be back with another race meeting next year.

“Thanks to Broken Hill and our sponsors,” Mr Gallagher said.

“It is good to see families come out, (the Silver City Cup) is a true country family race day that is iconic to this town of Broken Hill.”

The day was doubly special for time keeper, Doug Andrews, as his late father Colin was inducted into the Silver City Wall of Fame.

Among the many roles performed by the late Mr Andrews was being president of the Silver City Race Club for “many years”, according to his son.

“It is very good; (he) should have been (inducted) years ago,” Doug said. “He would have been very happy.”

The day even featured a couple of TV stars - much to the delight of the females.

George Houvardas, who plays ‘Carbo’ on the Seven network’s ‘Packed to the Rafters’, said the day was “hot in all ways”.

“The crowd, the weather, it’s been great. I love the hospitality of country folk and I love the laid back attitude,” George said.

He said he would “definitely come back” if the city would have him back.

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