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Curtain falls on racing year at Echuca

Echuca will host the final Victorian racing meeting for the year today when it holds an eight-race program.

HANNAH DRISCOLL December 31, 2013 4:10am

Victorian racegoers will see out the year at Echuca Racing Club today, the only venue to host gallops on New Year’s Eve.

The eight-race card starts at 1pm and finishes at 5.15pm and the club’s chief executive Alex Doble said it was basically an entrée for a great day’s celebration which is New Year’s Eve.

‘‘We are the only thoroughbred offer in Victoria, so we take centre stage,’’ Doble said.

‘‘The town itself, Echuca, is bursting at the seams, so there’s a lot of tourists in town and we’re expecting a big turnout.’’

Last year’s New Year’s Eve meeting attracted a crowd of about 1000 and Doble said the club would be happy to have that number again, but would be extremely happy with 1500.

The weather looks to be ideal to see off the year with predictions of a sunny day and 33°C.

Tatura trainer Gary Sherer’s Infourit is in race three, a three-year-old maiden plate, after a last start fifth, and Benalla trainer Vince Nolen’s Ravenscroft is in race four, a maiden plate over 1400m.

Tatura’s Kevin Evans and Benalla’s Geoff Brunsdon have entries in race five, a benchmark 64 handicap over 2100m, Evans with Mr O’Postrophe and Brunsdon with Sophie’s Tryst who ran third last start at Wodonga on Boxing Day.

‘‘It is just a really even bunch of solid country horses. On paper there doesn’t seem to be any standouts, but the track’s in perfect order and it should give every horse their opportunity if they’re good enough on the day,’’ Doble said.

‘‘Locals have all got their own representation, so all the locals are represented on the day. They’ve all been training well and racing well, so as I said if they’re good enough on the day they’ll get their chance to lead on the line.’’

Doble said there would be plenty for the racing tragics as well as families, with live music and free children’s activities.

There will also be a shuttle bus running throughout the day.

Euroa trainer Peter Smith will hope for a happy beginning to the year with six-year-old mare First Print accepting in the second race at Flemington tomorrow.

The daughter of Masterprint out of Tondela is in the 1400m Riverside Handicap, however, she is also nominated for Friday’s Wangaratta meeting.

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