Strathbogie Shire Mayor Debra Swan remarked before presenting the Euroa Cup yesterday how perfect the weather was for Benalla Racing Club’s meeting.By Hannah Driscoll
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Debra Swan remarked before presenting the Euroa Cup yesterday how perfect the weather was for Benalla Racing Club’s meeting.
It was certainly different to the weather which dashed the club’s hopes of making its return to racing with the Benalla Gold Cup on October 7.
Benalla received its highest amount of rain for October that day, about 27
There was not a cloud in the sky yesterday and the return marked the end of track issues which have plagued the club for more than two years.
Club general manager Brendan Storer said it was a ‘‘relief’’ to have racing back.
‘‘We had a magic day for it and we were always expecting great support for it,’’ Storer said.
‘‘We haven’t got the official number for the crowd; it will be somewhere around the 1400 to 1600 people mark, which we are really pleased with.
‘‘There was a bit on in town .
‘‘Everyone is just pleased to be back and racing at Benalla.’’
Swan presented the connections of Aces and Angels, including jockey Blake Shinn, with the Euroa Cup following the mare’s narrow victory.
Aces and Angels went into the six-horse field as favourite and held off a late charge from the Brian Cox-trained Murdoch’s Joy to win by a nose, ahead of Wayne Nichols’ Dad Knows Best in third.
‘‘While it was a small field, it was a good race and the Euroa Cup committee have put in a great effort,’’ Storer said.
‘‘It’s their first time back after a couple of years and it’s good for them to be involved and good for us to be able to get them here to our course.
‘‘It gives people from the Shire of Strathbogie a chance to be involved in racing.’’
Cox did not go home empty handed, with four-year-old Smoken Cash, sired by Dash for Cash, winning the opening race for maidens.
Echuca trainer Daryl Archard celebrated another double with Dashing Stars, another progeny of Dash for Cash, winning the fourth race, a 0-68 handicap, and Redial claiming race seven, a 0-58 handicap.
Both were outside chances at $8.50 and $8.60 to win, respectively.
Allen Browell-trained La Pepper, Gerard Moloney’s Glenthorn Avenue and Peter Maher’s Minnesota Hussle were the other winners.
Storer said the club was looking forward to hosting its Christmas meeting on December 16.
‘‘We’ve got one (race meeting) in December, one in January and a couple in February and then another three or four before the end of the racing season,’’ Storer said.
‘‘We’ll get through those okay, get some confidence back in the track and we’ll be back where we were.’’
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