Happy winners from (L-R). Danny Peisley, Daniel Bowen (an owner), and trainer Dean Smith with Major General, who took out the Tweed Daily News Benchmark 45 handicap.
Happy winners from (L-R). Danny Peisley, Daniel Bowen (an owner), and trainer Dean Smith with Major General, who took out the Tweed Daily News Benchmark 45 handicap. Contributed

Punters’ field day at Cup Races

MELBOURNE Cup day on the Tweed was celebrated in style on Tuesday, with a huge crowd packing into Murwillumbah race track for the biggest day in Australian racing.

The almost 4000-strong crowd braved the heat to get track side, to watch the Cup and a strong six-race card of local gallops.

The sweltering conditions didn’t stop race enthusiasts and party goers from turning out in style, with a range of fashions, entertainment, food and fun on offer.

Tweed River Jockey Club secretary manager Brian Charman said it was a wonderful day.

“We were really rapt and there was some great feedback from the people who attended,” Charman said.

“Liquor licensing was impressed with the crowd, and food (vendors) were really impressed with how the crowd was managed.”

On-track racing was electric, with favourites dominating the card after punters were left reeling following a rough result in Race One, when $10 outside chance Monte Agar stormed home to claim a win despite carrying 59kg.

Monte Agar defied weights and betting, to win by a strong one-and-a-half lengths, with race favourite Lunajill finishing nearly eight lengths behind in a distant last.

Charman said order was restored after the Race One result, with favourites and Northern Rivers-based jockeys and trainers dominating the day on their home track.

“After Race One, it was a punters’ field day with every favourite greeting the judge first and winning,” he said.

“Northern Rivers-based jockey Danny Beasley rode three winners and local trainer Ben Robinson had a first and second in Race One (Monte Agar and Golden Orange).”

Robinson had a big day and carried on from the strong Race One result with a third in Race Two (Rah Rah Boy), and a big result in the final race of the day, when stablemates Vancouver Star, Cocoa Pops and Lilith Of Eden finished second, third and fourth respectively.

Charman said everyone involved with the TRJC was happy with the level of racing on offer and the recently refurbished track had held up well.

“I spoke with Brad Kleise (NRRA steward), and they were rapt with the racing surface and conditions and said it was all in good order,” he said.

Charman praised everyone involved who helped make the day possible.

“The Tweed River Jockey Club wants to say a big thank you to all our major sponsors who supported us on the day,” he said.

The TRJC will now turn its attention to its Christmas Twilight race meeting, its next meet at the Murwillumbah track.

The TAB race meeting kicks off on Friday, December 11 and will feature an eight-race card with full fields, with the first race scheduled for 2.30pm.

There will be entertainment following the final race and the TRJC expects a big crowd.

“There will be live music and a band on course afterwards,” Charman said.

“There will be Aussie bouncing bikes, and they’ll look after kids from 3-7pm.”

Melbourne Cup Day at Murwillumbah Results:

Race One - J H Williams Murwillumbah Maiden Plate (900 metres): Monte Agar $10. Trainer: Ben Robinson. Jockey: Shaun Bayliss.

Race Two - Tweed Daily News Benchmark 45 Handicap (2000 metres): Major General $3EF. Trainer: Dean S Smith. Jockey: Danny Peisley

Race Three - Jason Birney Memorial Maiden Plate (1530 metres): Casino Moon $3. Trainer: Harold Norman. Jockey: Geoffrey Leung

Race Four - Ellis and Baxter Solicitors & Attorneys Benchmark 45 Handicap (1530 metres): Mile High Madam $3.40. Trainer: Owen Glue. Jockey: Danny Peisley

Race Five - D J Stringer Property Services Tweed River Handicap (1530 metres): Roman Conflict $1.70. Trainer: Daniel S Bowen. Jockey: Danny Peisley

Race six - Tweed Shopping Centre Maiden Plate (1200 metres): Torpedo $2.80. Trainer: Bruce W Hill. Jockey: Jag Guthmann-Chester

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