Wauchope Jockey Club’s time-honoured Lasiandra Cup meeting, switched from the Easter Monday to this Saturday, April 22, at its home track at Beechwood Road in Wauchope,is expected to draw a good crowd.
The meeting is special, as many trainers use it as a forerunner to the club’s major TAB meeting, featuring the increased prize money $32,000 Wauchope Cup at Port Macquarie Racecourse on Sunday, June 18.
All up prizemoney is $172,000 for the eight-race meeting, an increase from $132,000 last year.
Club secretary Debbie Prosser said the change to Saturday would allow local residents to enjoy their home meeting as many found the Easter Monday not suitable, many being away, and was costly to run for the club.
It also coincides with the Wauchope Show and allows patrons to enjoy the yearly event before or after the races.
Last year’s win by Queen Of The Grange in the Lasiandra Cup was a celebration for 90-year-old owner Doug James and gave Port trainer Gloria Parker her first win in the Mid North Coast Racing Association district, she only having the one galloper as a hobby.
The six-year-old mare scored by a head from Port’s Ibelieveinmiracles, trained by John Sprague, with a long neck to Wauchope mare Reorganise, trained by Colt Prosser in an exciting finish just outside the class record for 1240m.
Queen Of The Grange had finished unplaced the year before behind Cessnock gelding Ality, trained by Max Boland, when the mare was trained by Prosser and the race was over 1650m.
This year’s race is again over 1650m and represents a good trial event for the 1500m of the Wauchope Cup, won last year by Newcastle mare Parraay, trained by Kris Lees and ridden by Andrew Gibbons, at Port Macquarie Racecourse.
The year before the cup was held at Kempsey and was won Coffs Harbour gelding Before You Think, backed from 20-1 to 9-1 with bookmakers which scored by two lengths after leading all the way for trainer Basil Ryan and jockey Ben Looker.
The Lasiandra Cup has a proud history and being part of Wauchope township’s Lasiandra Week celebrations, patrons are urged to dress up in purple and be in the mix for winning prizes for their colourful display.
Early nominations suggest local trainer Colt Prosser has a strong hope with seven-year-old gelding Admiral Ruff in this year’s cup.
Two starts back it was fifth in TAB company and the grade here is bound to make the gelding hard to beat on its home track.
Taree trainer Tess Wilkes has been trekking all over NSW with her two middle distance gallopers,five-year-old gelding Prince Coureuse and Unique Dream, and will be hoping the conditions at the track will suit.
Nominations for the meeting have been received from Newcastle,Cessnock,Coffs Harbour and Tuncurry with acceptances known on Thursday.