Crowds at last year's Melbourne Cup race day at Murwillumbah.
Crowds at last year's Melbourne Cup race day at Murwillumbah. Blainey Woodham

It's the Melbourne Cup at Murwillumbah

THE social whirl, live entertainment, fashions in the field and a six-race local card are all part of what patrons have come to expect when heading to Murwillumbah racecourse on Australia's top racing day.

It's why Tweed River Jockey Club officials know to expect a big crowd through the turnstiles today.

The day's local feature event is the Ellis and Baxter Cup, a Benchmark 45 handicap over 1530m.

Serious punters will be eyeing five-year-old mare Harada Pearl, who makes her northern debut after racing around the tracks of southern NSW and the ACT.

She has been competitive over a mile and in staying events so she should find the line well when the others start to falter.

Raise The Ante has been thereabouts of late and could prove the danger. He seems to be making a go of it with Ben Hull's stable at the Gold Coast.

Lucky Elite is another with a chance, especially if the tempo slackens and is left alone in his favourite piloting role.

He ran a strong race two starts back over 1400m at Lismore and was only caught inside the last furlong to finish second.

Veteran Cyril Small knows a thing or two about the Murwillumbah track, and has the mount.

Buses will be running to and from the racecourse tomorrow from Murwillumbah, Tugun, Tweed Heads, Pottsville, Cabarita Beach and Kingscliff.

For punters and those having a once-a-year flutter a strong local and interstate bookies' ring plus on-course tote will be in operation, covering all the live racing from Flemington as well as the Murwillumbah action.

The first and last races of the day are scheduled for 12.25pm and 4.31pm, respectively. Gates open at 10am.



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