Is our big Cup day history?
MURWILLUMBAH turf club's big Melbourne Cup day is in jeopardy, with racing at the track suspended indefinitely as equine influenza continues to spiral out of control in New South Wales and Queensland. Tweed River Jockey Club secretary/manager Steve Huggins confirmed yesterday that meetings scheduled for Sunday weekOctober 7 and October 22 have been cancelled, and the club's biggest meeting of the year on Melbourne Cup day is in serious doubt. "Officially our next two meetings have been cancelled," a disappointed Huggins said. "At this stage everything is suspended. It's really getting a bit out of hand, the EI virus. As a club we're really disappointed. I believe the meetings were going to be successful for us. "As far as Cup day goes, it's looking increasingly unlikely at the moment. But this could change any day and we'll be able to race." Huggins said the club had already received a great response to the Cup day meeting, with 36 marquees booked and phone calls regarding the fate of the meeting substantial. "We really focus on this meeting as a club for the year, and not to have it would be really disappointing." Huggins said an application to run a phantom race meeting on Cup day has be sent to Racing NSW, and he hoped this may be a saviour for the TRJC. "We've applied for a phantom meeting for Cup day as a back-up," he said. "We'll have to look at what restrictions there are on a phantom meeting and assess the situation from there. Last year more than 5000 people attended the Cup day meeting and yesterday Huggins was not prepared to reveal what the financial loss might be if it did not go ahead this year. "By this stage of the year we're normally pretty busy getting things ready for our Cup day meeting," he said. "At the moment we're like a lot of other tracks and in limbo. "We really just have to keep planning that the meeting will go ahead. "I hope that's the case for us and racing can get going again."