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www.plainsproducer.com.au CUP GUIDE - 3
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BALAKLAVA CUP SPECIAL FORM GUIDE
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BRC chairman, Wayne Henson,
said the profile of the cup
continued to be the envy of
racing clubs across the nation.
“BRC deputy chairman, Trevor
Sampson, and I went to Gosford
about two years ago and they were
bragging about their cup day, which
had about 7000 people there,” Mr
Gosford has a population of about
150,000, which doubles to about
300,000 if the surrounding areas
are taken into account. Mr Henson
responded with the Balaklava Cup’s
attendance topping 14,000 based at
a township of just 1200.
“They thought we were just pull-
ing their leg,” he laughed.
“Rob Waterhouse was here a year
or two ago and he said it was better
than Grafton and better than Scone,
which are major country meets in
New South Wales.”
There’s no luck behind the suc-
cess of the cup though, an attitude to
continually grow the event and cater
for the patrons a staple every year.
“A lot people in the industry be-
lieve it will always be the same but I
can tell you, if you didn’t treat it with
the right sort of respect, you could
lose it within two to three years,” Mr
“I think that’s what has happened
to some major meets in South Aus-
tralia. I don’t think they’ve treated the
meetings with the right significance
and they’ve lost the people.
events, people went to no matter what
you did. In today’s world, you’ve
got to give people a reason to come.
“I think we do with the marquees,
the tradition, and all the other things
that go with it. We do everything we
can to accommodate people. That’s
what it’s all about, getting people in.”
The rapidly growing national
profile is attracting the country’s
superstar stables to vie for both the
cup and the Coopers Sprint, Sydney-
based John O’Shea training Bagman
to last year’s cup victory, ridden by
champion hoop, Brad Rawiller.
“The prize money is good this
year and you’ve got $40,000 for the
sprint and $80,000 for the cup, which
is reasonable money for a Wednesday
provincial meet,” Mr Henson said.
Corporate support has also bol-
stered the ongoing success of Bal-
aklava’s big day.
“There’s a few reasons why the
Balaklava Cup has grown expo-
nentially and one of those is our
sponsors, in particular Coopers,” Mr
“Since they came on board,
they’ve made a huge contribution,
not only to the club with sponsorship
but actually embracing the event and
being here and being part of it.
“They’re here all year but on cup
day, they bring up 600 people too.”
AS thousands flock in to the Balaklava Racing Club’s premier event, today’s
Balaklava Cup, reporter Les Pearson delves deeper into why the event is so
successful, amongst the other great events the club hosts each year
Face of the Balaklava Cup, Elle Missen, is helping judge fashions on the
field today. You too can show off your ‘look’ by entering at the booth
in front of the grandstand between 11am and 12 noon. Finalists will be
selected and parade around 12.30pm. There are some great prizes on
offer, so why not take part and have fun.
The fun continues all year long
BALAKLAVA Cup aside, the
Balaklava Racing Club has
some cracking events through-
out the year, well worth marking on
BRC chairman, Wayne Henson,
said the racing season started in
February each year after a break over
“It’s not a bad thing, because it
gets a bit hot up here during those
months and gives the track a chance
to recuperate from a tough winter and
spring campaign,” he said.
The first major event of the year
is the Adelaide Plains Cup, raced on
either the last Sunday in February or
first Sunday in March.
“It’s a great Sunday afternoon
meet,” Mr Henson said.
“It’s more community orientated
than some of the other meetings, be-
cause they’re on a Wednesday, so it’s
a good opportunity for local people,
from not only the direct district, but
also surrounding areas to come have
a day out.”
Veterans’ Day follows in April.
“It’s an idea we came up with
some years ago and deputy chairman,
Trevor Sampson, has done a great job
promoting that with the TPI associa-
tion and the RSL. Both those bodies,
amongst others, strongly support the
event. We get about 1200 people to
that each year and it’s a great tribute
to those who served in the forces and
also a great day in general.”
Any RSLclubs or veterans looking
to be a part of the day can contact the
RSL’s state branch for more details.
“It’s difficult for us to talk to eve-
ryone, so if you’ve got a club and they
can bring a busload of people, then it’s
a win for both sides,” Mr Henson said.
Publican’s Day often arrives in late
May or early June.
“That’s probably our second big-
gest day to the cup,” Mr Henson said.
“The numbers vary a little bit but
our best years we would have more
than 600 people for the lunch function.
That is a really good, entertaining day.
“For me, it’s probably the most
enjoyable day as it’s not as much
work as the cup but it still has a great
atmosphere. It is an opportunity for
those people to get away and mix with
their mates and others in the industry.
“It’s a great networking afternoon,
as well as a lot of fun.”
Farmers Day is a new race meet,
initiated by BRC committee member,
“We’ve had two years of the Farm-
ers Day,” Mr Henson said.
“That’s just in its infancy but it has
a lot of scope to grow, so we’re very
optimistic about that moving forward.
“We’ve focussed on March as the
time to have it, as most farmers have
finished harvest and yet to start seed-
ing, so if we could almost turn it into
a field day, it would be bloody good.
“The other thing we are looking
at is an SANFL legends day, inviting
50 football legends from the past to
come up for the day.”
So, with plenty on the racing
calendar, why not come down again
during 2014 for another taste of what
the Balaklava Racing Club has to offer.
“It is an innovative club,” Mr
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