Cup runneth over: Wodonga axes meeting

WODONGA and District Turf Club has scrapped its Melbourne Cup day meeting.

Only three years after holding its first Cup-day meeting, the club has chosen an extra TAB meeting rather than race on Australia’s biggest race day.

GALLERY: Click here to see photos from this year's Melbourne Cup day on the Border.

Wodonga is given eight meetings a year by Racing Victoria.

The club has had to give up one of its three non-TAB fixtures to take on the new TAB meeting.

Club president Colin Haynes said yesterday the committee had faced the tough decision of which of its non-TAB meetings, on Caulfield and Melbourne Cup days or its Boxing Day meeting, it should dump.

“Boxing Day is a tradition at Wodonga, Caulfield Cup is our biggest growth meeting and Melbourne Cup has made a healthy start with new racegoers and families,” Mr Haynes said.

“The club voted unanimously to keep our two most established non-TAB meetings.”

The Albury, Corowa, Wangaratta and Wagga clubs will welcome the shock announcement as they jostle for patronage and cash on Cup day.

Wangaratta this year attracted a 4500 crowd, Albury 3200 and Corowa 3000. Wodonga and Wagga both had about 1500.

Wodonga’s “apprentice race day” concept for Cup day — where all riders are apprentices — could be taken up on either Caulfield Cup day or Boxing Day — if Racing Victoria approves it.

Racing Victoria released a draft for 2013-14 race dates. It is expected to confirm dates in March after further consultation.

Wodonga’s proposed dates are October 19, December 1 and 26, February 22, April 4, May 18, June 2 and July 27.

Punters at Wodonga earlier this month watching the Melbourne Cup.

Punters at Wodonga earlier this month watching the Melbourne Cup.

Albury Racing Club this year used the star power of Evermore to attract racegoers to its Melbourne Cup day meeting.

Albury Racing Club this year used the star power of Evermore to attract racegoers to its Melbourne Cup day meeting.