There will be significant changes for country racing in 2017, with Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) today announcing new race dates for two of the State’s biggest country racing carnivals – The Balaklava Cup and Murray Bridge Gold Cup.
Balaklava Cup’s traditional ‘first Wednesday in September’ race day will be moved to the ‘second Wednesday in September’ with the 2017 Balaklava Cup now racing on the 13th.
The second traditional Wednesday timeslot for the Murray Bridge Gold Cup will now be moved to a Friday meet with the race to be run this year on Friday 20th October.
TRSA CEO Jim Watters said TRSA was confident that this will be a positive move for both clubs.
“All changes have been made in consultation with each club’s stakeholders and will give them the opportunity to focus on refreshing the social aspect of racing and growing crowd attendance,” Mr Watters said.
The changes come following TRSA’s annual review of race meeting scheduling for South Australia.
Balaklava Club Manager Doug Hall said the move to the second Wednesday in September will enable improved programming to ensure the Cup didn’t clash with other racing events around the State.
“We will see a better quality and quantity of horses racing along with superior track conditions as the days grow longer,” Mr Hall said.
Some 155km away, Murray Bridge Club Manager John Buhagiar said they too were looking to shake things up and attract more spectators to the country racing carnival.
“We want to reinvigorate the Cup day for locals while still maintaining the corporate aspect for punters travelling from Adelaide and surrounds,” Mr Buhagiar said.