Wodonga cluyb sold on selling Gold Cup 

WODONGA and District Turf Club is committed to further growth of its Gold Cup meeting.

Club chief Tom O’Connor said the crowd was slightly up on last year with betting turnover slightly down.

“We haven’t got an official crowd number yet but the initial figures suggest the attendance was slightly up on the previous year,” O’Connor said.

“The gate and bar takings were higher.

“Turnover was slightly down, with off-course takings $1.22 million down from $1.68 million while on-course was $69,341 down from $75,763.

“That was mainly due to the maiden fields being smaller, with three odds-on favourites stifling betting.”

O’Connor said the marketing of the meeting as an ideal Christmas party and social day out for businesses was the key to further growth.

“The attendance was promising but is something the club has to work hard to grow,” he said.

“We need the support of the community.

“Getting people to consider the venue for Christmas parties and a social day out and booking marquees is the key.

“We are not blessed with having a Saturday or public holiday for our cup meeting.

“So we just want everyone to leave the course having had an enjoyable day and come back the following year and bring a friend.

“We have to work on our event days and that’s what the club is committed to.

“The only downer from the club perspective is you have to wait 12 months before you can do it all again.”

Multiple group 1 winning jockey Craig Newitt provided the star power on the track to boot home four winners including the feature race on the Mick Price-trained Stratigraphy.

O’Connor said luring more metropolitan-based trainers and jockeys would also help grow the meeting.

“It was fantastic having Craig Newitt,” he said.

“And it would have been great to have at least another one or two more high-profile jockeys.

“We tried very hard as a club to attract a few bigger names but probably the timing of the meeting worked against us a bit.

“Being at the end of the spring a lot of jockeys are taking a break or heading off overseas.

“But the local trainers have shown great support by giving the jockeys rides when they do decide to make the trip.”

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