Cup runneth over
Tuesday, 25th October, 2011
By John Casey
Leading racing identities in the region believe the success of Saturday’s Silver City Cup meeting will have a lasting impact on the sport’s future for years to come.
Chief Steward Trevor Odgers, veteran BH trainer Mick Wayman and visiting Cobar horseman Allan Prisk were united in their opinion that the day of close, competitive racing was a great advertisement for the sport.
“It was a top day all round,” Mr Odgers said.
“The Silver City Cup produced the closest finish - other than a dead-heat - that I have ever seen in Broken Hill and I’ve been working at the track since 1973.
“It is those types of finishes that bring people back to the races,” he added.
Despite running second by the barest possible margin with Dealers in the feature event, trainer Mick Wayman could see the upside for racing after what he described as a “tremendous day”.
“The committee deserves full credit for putting on such a successful event,” a buoyant Wayman said.
“To get the meeting off the ground in such a short period of time speaks volumes for what they can achieve in the future.
“There was only a cigarette paper between winning and losing the Cup for me, but it wasn’t too far for me to drive home and both my runners picked up cheques, so I can’t complain,” Wayman continued.
Mr Odgers pointed out the importance for BH trainers to be able to compete on their home track.
“If we were only racing once a year (at the St Pat’s meeting in March) it would be very difficult to maintain the track and the other associated facilities,” Mr Odgers said.
“The local trainers basically look after the track themselves and can take heart from performing in their own backyard, rather than having to travel their horses every time they race.”
Luring people into buying horses to maintain the sport here in BH would also become increasingly difficult without local meetings to attend according to Wayman.
“Saturday’s meeting was excellent for local trainers because it gave us the chance to showcase what an exciting sport it is to be involved with,” Wayman said.
Cobar-based Alan Prisk, who took out the second event on Saturday with Ziazan, echoed those sentiments.
“If you can’t promote local racing at your own track then the sport will die,” Prisk said.
“I love St Pat’s, but the Silver City Cup meeting is a more friendly and laid back affair where you can build friendships for the future and it offers a nice contrast to the hype of St Pat’s.
“The two meetings complement one another brilliantly and I hope they can continue well into the future to give us bush trainers the opportunities we need to continue.
Saturday’s six-event card produced breakthrough success for a number of participants, including SC Cup-winning jockey Lester Grace, who rode his first ever winner aboard Turn Him Loose in the feature event.
He backed up 40 minutes later on Master Houdini to score a double for Swan Hill trainer Con Kelly.
Earlier in the day, Mildura trainer Kevin Adcock notched his maiden success with Keewong, while SA-based apprentice Jake Toeroek scored just his second win when Stratocruiser saluted in race four.
“It is these type of experiences that up and coming jockeys and trainers thrive on,” Mr Odgers said.
“Jockeys learn so much from the experience of travelling to places like Broken Hill and without that opportunity to learn they would struggle to get a ride in the metropolitan area.
“Our racing here is important for a lot of people - not just the locals - and that is why it was great to see such a successful day.”