ARMIDALE Jockey Club is preparing for two more big days of racing over the next six weeks after one of its best ever cup meetings.
Sunday’s McDonalds Armidale Cup meeting attracted a huge crowd to what was a happy celebratory day, advised AJC secretary Jim Dedes.
“It was a big day, terrific,” Jim Dedes said.
“Not the biggest crowd we’ve had but the best we’ve had for a long, long time.”
The AJC moved its traditional Monday cup meeting to a Sunday for the first time in many years and were rewarded with a rain-free and happy crowd on what was an outstanding surface.
“We had a lot of rave reviews on how good the track was,” Dedes said.
“Even Mr Cullen [chief steward] reckoned it was one of the best he’s seen in the 20 years he’s been coming here. Our security people also said it was one of the best behaved crowds they’ve had.
“Had just one little incident where they had a quiet word with one young bloke. The rest were fine.
“So it was a great result.”
While Grafton-trained Kasharn won the Armidale Cup there were winners for local trainers as well with Armidale-based trainers Frank Tanner and Paul Grills both securing winners.
“Great to see Frank win one,” Dedes said.
“He deserved that. And Paul won one as well [Image Of Love]. Saint Element was also bred by Alan Chappell here in Armidale and is raced by a local syndicate. He was one of two winners for Paddy Cunningham. He also won with Carry On Ringo.”
Allan Chau won on both Saint Element and Carry On Ringo and almost gave Cunningham a treble for the day before finishing fourth on unlucky Carry On Jake in the Armidale Cup.
Armidale now races on Monday, March 19 before the Guyra Cup meeting on April 15.
“It’s the old Armidale Cup day,” Dedes said of the Monday, March 19 meeting.
“Then the big Guyra Cup meeting. Funny how everything has been reversed, funny how that has all happened but I still think we are on a winner. Especially after the support we received for the Armidale Cup. Had a lot of Guyra people here for it. Now we are preparing for a huge Guyra Cup.”