Ella magic for Cup
By IAN MONAGHAN
HOW do you ensure that everything's jumping at the Lismore Cup next Thursday?
Call in the services of a Wallaby as official guest, of course.
And not just any Wallaby ... none other than the legendary former Australian skipper Mark Ella, who mesmerised opponents from around the world during the 1970s and '80s.
That was the news from the Lismore Turf Club yesterday, amid preparations for the Rousillon Handicap on Sunday, the first feature race of Lismore's two-day Spring Cup Carnival.
Ella will fly into Lismore next Wednesday morning and he better have retained some fitness from his playing days, because he has a few commitments during his two-day visit.
That day he will take on the Lismore Workers Golf Club course for the traditional Lismore Cup Golf Day.
On Wednesday night he'll be the guest for the Calcutta at the Lismore Turf Club from 6.30pm.
NBN sports director Mike Rabbitt will be throwing the questions at Ella, focusing on current rugby directions and his past with the Galloping Greens of Randwick and the Wallabies teams which he led from five-eighth during the 1970s and '80s.
Next Thursday Ella will attend the running of the $40,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup.
n Meanwhile, acceptances for the $20,000 Sky Channel Gold Rousillon Handicap (1400m) on Sunday will be declared today.
Lismore Turf Club secretary-manager Michael Timbrell said the Rousillon was in only its second year as a $20,000 event, but already the profile boost had served to attract strong support from owners and trainers with a good-class field.
"We are also fielding plenty of inquiries from bookmakers from outside the district thinking of attending the Rousillon on Sunday and the Cup next Thursday," he said.
Nominations for the Cup meeting close tomorrow morning.