Gunbower Racing Club president Michael Farrant could not have been happier with the turn out, weather and racing at the club's meet on Saturday.By Geordie Cowan
Gunbower Racing Club president Michael Farrant could not have been happier that his biggest concern yesterday was cleaning up the racecourse.
After consecutive wash outs and a replayed AFL grand final the year before, the club enjoyed its first successful Gunbower Gold Cup meet on Saturday since moving the date from January to October.
‘‘I woke up this morning a bit tired and weary but certainly a lot happier than last year,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a great day. I was a very happy president last night.’’
A crowd of about 1500 attended and saw Rick Harrison’s Loukoumi claim the Gunbower Gold Cup in a surprise result.
The $21 outsider won by more than three lengths from First Defence and He’s A Steal, while pre-race favourite and Deniliquin horse Stynes finished fourth in a result which mirrored those most preferred throughout the day.
No pre-race favourites won, while Echuca trainers Gwenda Johnstone and Daryl Archard finished with only one placing each — both in race two — for the day.
‘‘He (Loukoumi) ran a good race and was ridden beautifully by Roger Booth,’’ Farrant said.
Making the win even more impressive for the Mornington-trained gelding was the cup win in his first race back from an 18-week spell.
The cup’s first appearance as a TAB meeting was also a success, Farrant said.
‘‘For a first-time TAB meeting we were pretty pleased all round,’’ he said.
‘‘The betting was pretty heavy with about $100,000 on-course and more than $200,000 off-course.
‘‘You can’t go crook about that. It’s a pretty good result for a small club that races once a year.’’
The president said that result was one of many things which were important for the club on Saturday.
‘‘I think there’s several aspects,’’ Farrant said.
‘‘The first time we have had a TAB meeting
‘‘There is a sense of relief for the committee — it’s always been hard work but the last few years we have had divided results.
‘‘But I think the committee worked tirelessly to promote the meet and I think that work has paid off.’’
Gunbower Anglican and Uniting Church Ladies Guild (from left) Maureen Munzel, Dawn Hill, Jeanette Cowan, Ursula Sutcliffe, Rev. Simon Robinson, Claire Dickinson, Val Rowlands, Jane Wright, Elaine Brereton and Shirley Spark.
Anthea Toma, Chenara Holford and Alex Wright.
Action from race two.
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