Twilight racing to light up Murwillumbah on Friday
Murwillumbah's eagerly anticipated 2016-17 Summer Of Racing series kicks off tomorrow with the first instalment of a triple-header: a pre-Christmas twilight meeting.
The late afternoon and early evening program will usher in three meetings in quick succession culminating on January 3 when a special trainer's purse will be handed over to the series' most successful trainer and a runner-up.
Tomorrow's eight event TAB program has had a big response from connections with capacity fields and emergency runners lined-up in just about every race, and competitors expected from all over northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. Locally trained thoroughbreds will also be well represented.
In the day's feature event, the Raptor Waste Management Christmas Cup Sprint (1200m hcp) a competitive field will greet the starter in an open betting market. Overnight favourite and classy-type My Little Flicka will be having her first Murwillumbah run, after notching up six wins and four placing in 21 starts.
The rider-trainer combination of Tegan Harrison and Ben Ahrens inspires confidence, but the six-year-old mare won't have it all her own way. Another six-year-old class-six horse is the topweight Profiler from the Stephen Lee stable in Ballina, to be ridden by Daniel Griffin. He's been knocking at the door with some decent efforts at his last four starts including finishing runner-up in last month's Christmas Cup at Grafton over the same distance.
An on-pace runner, he could be the one to keep an eye on when they straighten for the run home.
Other noteable starters in the event, both of them returning from a spell, are 2016 Casino Cup runner-up Doughty and last year's Murwillumbah Cup winner Bernie Of Babylon who is trained on course.
The event is race 5 on the program and due at 4.05pm. The afternoon's opener is set to get under way at 1.35pm with race 8, the last of the day, down for 6pm.
The day's entertainment will include a fashion parade, live music on the lawns, plus free kids' entertainment and there is an all travel expenses paid grand prize to the 2017 Golden Slipper to be won.
The track is presently rated a Good 4 with Tweed River Jockey Club officials confident it will be upgraded to a Good 3 should current fine weather conditions prevail. It will be the first meeting since the club finished expanding and refurbishing women's jockey room facilities.
Murwillumbah's next two meetings will be conducted on Tuesday, December 27 and Tuesday, January 3.