PARTY TIME: They're off at Tabulam. The popular annual bush meeting will be held tomorrow, with buses full of revelling racegoers heading west for a big day.
PARTY TIME: They're off at Tabulam. The popular annual bush meeting will be held tomorrow, with buses full of revelling racegoers heading west for a big day. Debrah Novak

Tabulam Cup all about Bush Battlers

WINNING the $7000 Tabulam Cup tomorrow will secure a place in the $20,000 Bush Battlers Cup (1400m) at Inverell on January 1.

Just by running at Tabulam horses will be eligible for the novel new Bush Battlers Cup run under special conditions and in honour of the late Inverell Jockey Club president Don Bartlett.

Bartlett championed the idea of running a feature race for horses that competed at the many once-a-year meetings in country areas.

The Hunter and North West Racing Association abounds in iconic once-a- year meetings, especially the north-western fringe where Glen Innes, Deepwater, Bingara, Warialda, Narrabri, Mungindi, Barraba and Bundarra have already run their meetings for the year.

Inverell Jockey Club vice-chairman Mike Witherdin said the "special conditioned” Don Bartlett Memorial Bush Battlers Cup (1400m) would be part of a nine-race Inverell Cup program on New Year's Day.

"It is only open to horses that have contested races at the nearby one-day club race meetings,” Witherdin said.

"Tabulam was included in the qualifying clubs as it is the only one-day club on the Northern Rivers.”

Horses at Tabulam tomorrow, including the six runners in the Yugilbar Pastoral Co Sam Hordern Memorial Tabulam Cup (1400m), will be able to nominate for the Bush Battlers Cup.

The Tabulam Cup is dominated by Beaudesert trainer Ben Robinson and Casino's Stephen Bennett.

Robinson has three runners - last-start winner Champagne Rock, Red Bohemia and Token Gesture - while Bennett has last- start winner Traconi and the resuming Would Be A Bonus.

Meanwhile, Lismore trainer Daniel Bowen had a brilliant day at Ballina on Monday this week.

He had three runners, winning with Dux Nutz and Hope Island, while debutant Pink Carnation was second to stablemate Dux Nutz.

That the Ballina Jockey Club raced at all was remarkable after the track received 90mm of rain the night before.

Club secretary-manager Matt Bertram said the track had raced "amazingly well”.

"But we do say there are two tracks up here, a winter track and a summer track. With the heat in the air the summer tracks can dry out,” he said.

"The stewards also made a bold call, looked at the start times, the field sizes and the drying ability. We were pretty stoked with that.

"And the track did race so well, it was quite safe and a great result for us.”

Bertram said the track had received another 35mm since, which hasn't helped with another seven-race meeting on Monday.”

"We will race Monday, no problems,” he said.



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