THE Burdekin Race Club is continuing to provide for the lovers of “The Sport of Kings”, with their program involving hosting a meeting at least monthly from the beginning of 2023 through to August, when they will feature a TAB meeting for the first time locally in many years.
The Burdekin Growers Race meeting is on Saturday, May 20, followed by a meeting on Saturday, June 17 (previously planned for Charters Towers), another Home Hill meeting on Saturday, July 15 and then the TAB meeting, with a seven-event program on Thursday, August 31.
The Burdekin Club’s Derby Day meeting will follow at the beginning of November.
With increasing race meetings and more races attracting extra nominations, the club was told by their president that he had completed a survey about training and stabling facilities at their track, with questions about whether they could utilise more stables and training commodities.
Mr Gudge said that currently, all their stables were full. “Who knows, with extra services, we could have even more horses training here,” he commented.
The club’s most recent meeting was held on Saturday, April 1, with a five-event program de- scribed by Mr Gudge as “a good day with a crowd better than I expected”.
He said racing on the day was tight, but it was not a good day for the bookies, with a number of favourites getting up, while a meat tray raffle conducted by the club drew good support from patrons.
With the Burdekin Growers Race Meeting, the club’s biggest of the year, only three weeks away, Mr Gudge said they would appreciate assistance from any volunteers who could lend a hand with preparations, as he thanked those who had attended a recent working bee.
The recently purchased PVC rail to join up to their aluminium rail was “a big worry off our list and now makes our training track compliant”.
He described the project as “a bit of a win for our club”, with the original price being around $40,000, while going through Racing Queensland allowed them to bring it back to around $32,000 together with another deduction of $2000 because of other “issues” the club had.
The Race Club’s April meeting was told that ticket sales for the May meeting were progressing well “with the elite marquee already sold out” and some others with only limited tickets left.
Sponsorship was also well supported through the efforts of their “treasurer/secretary/promotions lady” with the total surpassing previous years. The club will be value-adding to the racing with a total of $17,500 this year, an amount that has been covered by sponsorship.
The meeting was told that with prizes and give-aways, it was estimated that they would be offering over $100,000 to be won at the race meeting.