Cup is a 10-race event
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
BALLINA Jockey Club will run a massive 10-event program at its Carlton cup day tomorrow the first time it has run a meeting of this size.
The club has run nine-event programs on five previous occasions since 1991 but never 10. The huge program will start at 12.15 with the cup, which is race nine, to be run at 5pm and the last race at 5.35.
The club is also poised to break another record with the most starters at a meeting with 149 acceptors, including 16 emergencies.
"Our previous best was 116 starters at our meeting in May but we look set to break that record too, club president," Gary Kliese, said.
"We promised, when we received a record number of nominations, to increase the program to 10 races if there were enough acceptors.
"Everyone in the industry has suffered because of EI and we wanted to do everything possible to help.
"My committee believes that giving as many people as possible an opportunity to race is the most practical way of doing that."
The Ballina Cup is headed by Special Voyage which drew barrier 11 in a field of 16 which includes two emergencies.
Stephen Lee has accepted with all three horses he nominated, with leading jockey Peter Graham to ride Lost Weekend, a winner of her last two starts at Ballina.
Chantelle Johnson has been switched from Lost Weekend to Song Time while Joshua Jones will ride Queensland country cup winner Felixtrinidad.
Leading Newcastle jockeys Allan Robinson and Dale Spriggs will ride at the meeting but surprisingly Robinson did not have a ride in the cup last night. Spriggs will ride the Murwillumbah-trained Aidan James while Port Macquarie trainer Pat Quinn has called on the services of Brisbane jockey Bobby El-Issa to ride Best View.
Quinns' other starter, the rejuvenated nine-year-old St Tevoc will be ridden by his regular jockey, Mark Hannybel.