ARMIDALE Jockey Club’s Albies Cup meeting will celebrate more than just the University of New England College on Saturday.
The students from Albies will be out in force to witness the official opening of some new facilities, including a handicapped lift, advised AJC secretary Jim Dedes.
“Bob Pavitt, the Country Racing Council chairman, will be here to open them,” Dedes said.
“We thank Bob and Racing NSW CEO Peter V’Landys for their help. Should be a big day all round.”
Dedes expects a good Armidale track surface despite receiving plenty of rain over the past two months.
“We’ve had our wettest June and Augusts for a long while,” he said.
“Haven’t had a lot of sunshine and we’re still getting a few frosts but we’re expecting good weather this week.”
Feature race tomorrow is the $8000 Oaktree Retirement Village St Albert’s College Cup (1300m), a benchmarked 50 handicap.
The Albies Cup had initially been slated to be the Jackson’s Quality Meats Benchmark 50 Handicap (1100m) that attracted 14 nominations plus two late nominations in the shape of Paddy Cunningham’s Dashiell and Brett Bellamy’s Supreme Willy.
However AJC secretary Jim Dedes later changed the Albies Cup to the B50 1300m as it had a tad more depth.
Five of the original nominees for the B50 1100m, were having their first runs back from spells if they started and just one, Gavin Groth’s five-year-old mare, Snitsnbits, is a last start winner.
The daughter of Snitzel won an Inverell maiden on August 13 for her Gunnedah trainer and is lining up for her 11th race start an aiming for a second career win to go with her Inverell success.
She drew barrier in the 1100m sprint while stablemate, Blu Boy Jag, was nominated in tomorrow’s $8000 Oaktree Retirement Village Albies Cup.
Gavin Groth weighed up his options as just where he starts after also nominating his six-year-old gelding at Scone and Collarenebri as well.
He elected to run at today’s Scone where Blu Boy Jag drew barrier three in the $30,000 Cressfield Stud Benchmark 55 Handicap (1300m) with Leanne Henry booked to ride.
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