TOWONG Turf Club’s track proved a hit among jockeys and trainers on Saturday in its first proper test since undergoing a $60,000 renovation in spring.
Club secretary Peter Miller was relieved that the track — which was dug up to replace two old concrete culverts — held up well.
He said it was the cherry on top after 1500 people turned out for the Christmas-New Year meeting.
“The track got nothing but positive feedback from stewards, trainers and jockeys which was fantastic,” he said.
“It was perfect weather and a great day of quality country racing.
“It was an excellent crowd of holidaymakers and now we start cranking up our arrangement for the Towong Cup in March.”
Wodonga trainer Brian Cox added to star filly Sumakaray’s success in Melbourne with places from his only two runners in the six-race card at Towong.
His five-year-old mare Leg Room finished second behind Tocumwal trainer Jim Cerchi’s Demeanour in the fourth.
And in the last race of the day, four-year-old gelding Cosmo came home third for Cox and apprentice jockey Jake Duffy.
Gelding Evasive Action took out the third race on the card for Albury trainer Jodie Bohr in a big turnaround in form.
Meanwhile, it was a good day for Wangaratta trainers with Shivoo taking out the fifth for James Fraser and Tassie’s Spirit taking out the first race for John Ledger.
The three-year-old grey gelding’s eight-length romping of the field ensured apprentice jockey Brooke Sweeney won’t forget her first win.
Saturday was the second Christmas-New Year meeting since the fixture was dumped in 2007 by Racing Victoria.
Miller said the standard of racing and strong turnout was justification it belonged on the state’s racing calendar.
“There’s no question about it, many provincial and city meetings don’t pull the kind of crowd we got on Saturday,” Miller said.
“I couldn’t put a figure on how much it brings in but the racing dollar flows right through the town.
“We think this meeting is an important part of the calendar.”
Miller thanked all the trainers and owners for their support on the day saying “it couldn’t happen without them”.