BACKING A WINNER: John Brophy, whose efforts have helped save the Byron Bay Cup meeting at the Ballina Jockey Club on Monday we
BACKING A WINNER: John Brophy, whose efforts have helped save the Byron Bay Cup meeting at the Ballina Jockey Club on Monday we

Byron Cup day bigger and better than ever

By Grahame timbrell

A MONTH ago Ballina??s Byron Bay Cup day on Monday, June 11, looked like developing into just another mid-week meeting.

Support from Byron Bay Lions Club had fallen by the wayside and Ballina Jockey Club had been left without a sponsor.

Now, thanks to the efforts of the jockey club and one Lions member, John Brophy, Byron Bay has thrown its support behind the day like never before.

It has a new and expanded band of sponsors and now, to help cater for the added interest, buses will run from Byron Bay to the Ballina racecourse and return.

The buses will leave the Tourist Information Centre bus terminal at 11am on race day with full packages available for purchase from the centre.

These include return busfare, racecourse entry and even some refreshments. Nominations for the meeting, which includes the $10,000 Byron Bay Cup (1900m), will close on Tuesday morning. The cup is perfectly placed as a lead-up to the $25,000 Murwillum-bah Cup (2000m) on Sunday, June 24.

Fewer chances

IF the trend continues, Ballina Jockey Club may even be forced to extend its program for the Byron Bay Cup meeting.

Field sizes at country meetings throughout the State, but more particularly on the Northern Rivers, have been huge.

Tweed River Jockey Club was forced to divide the Class 1 at its Murwillumbah Cup Prelude meeting tomorrow because of a huge number of acceptors, while the non-TAB meeting at Bowraville today has drawn an unprecedented number of starters.

It??s a long time since a Saturday non-TAB meeting at Bowraville has had emergencies in three of its five races.

Cuts in the number of country race meetings Statewide are really starting to bite deep, but while clubs are attracting big fields, owners and trainers are left with fewer opportunities to win a race. Looking lush

RAIN this week has brought the track at Ballina to its peak.

The rail is out three metres and will remain out until the club??s spring carnival in September.

Lismore is also looking lush, with the club not racing again until its Truckies Long Haul day on Saturday, July 28. Not enough time

BALLINA Jockey Club will appoint a new vice-president at its next committee meeting. Long-time committee member Andrew Mulcahy, who was elected vice-president at the last annual general meeting, has resigned.

Mulcahy, a lawyer, found he could not devote enough time to the position because of the increasing pressures of his growing practice.

The club will not fill the vacancy on the board until its annual general meeting later this year. Best of the webs

LISMORE Turf Club plans to have the best website of any country club in the State by the end of this month.

Work is well advanced on re-building the site to make it easy to use.

??We have looked at the websites of Sydney, provincial and other country clubs and taken their best ideas, plus our own, to incorporate into our website,?? club secretary Michael Timbrell said.

??By doing this we plan to have a website which is not only user friendly but is constantly offering the latest information.

??We live in a technological age and more and more people are going online to seek information about our race meetings, function centre and membership packages.

??We have to be in a position to meet their needs.??

Ball will be cool

?oLISMORE Turf Club was overwhelmed by bookings for its inaugural winter ball tonight.

The club had so many people wanting to make bookings it changed the table plan.

One of the highlights will be an ice sculpture but it represents will remain a secret until tonight. Coming up

NORTHERN Rivers calendar: Today Bowraville (non TAB), tomorrow Murwillumbah Cup Prelude (TAB), Friday June 8 Grafton (TAB), Monday June 11 Ballina, Byron Bay Cup (TAB), Friday June 15 Grafton (TAB), Saturday June 23 Grafton (non TAB), Sunday June 24 Murwillumbah Cup (TAB).

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