More cash for city’s cup races

The Wodonga Cup will have a holiday crowd this year. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
The Wodonga Cup will have a holiday crowd this year. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

PRIZEMONEY for Wodonga’s first public holiday cup meeting in November has crashed through the $200,000 barrier.

The Victorian government yesterday gazetted the public holiday for the next three years.

Club officials confirmed prizemoney for the November 28 meeting had been set at $225,000.

The cup will remain an $80,000 race but the meeting will also have two $30,000 races, two $20,000 races and three $15,000 races — compared last year’s six $15,000 races.

Racing Wodonga plans to lift the cup prizemoney to $100,000 within four years and grow the meeting’s prizemoney to more than $300,000 within five years.

The Albury Gold Cup was a $50,000 race when the meeting was granted a half-day holiday in the early 2000s.

That has since grown to $170,000 and with listed status.

Wodonga’s general manager Tom O’Connor welcomed the prize- money boost, saying the club had a five-year plan to develop cup day.

He said lifting prizemoney was an important part of a strategy to ensure there were strong cup day fields.

“It’s fantastic that we are able to have an extra showcase race on the program as part of our first year as a public holiday event,” he said.

“This will help to ensure more owners and trainers target the day with multiple runners.

“It is something we have identified as important to the success of the day.

“We’re working to create a first-class event for Wodonga that provides quality racing and great entertainment.”

Due to the new arr-angements, Racing Victoria has made some program changes to cater for the shift of the Wodonga Cup from a Sunday to a Friday.

Racing Victoria operations manager Paul Bloodworth said it had transferred the meeting programmed at Ararat on November 28 to Wodonga.

“Ararat is taking a Kyneton meeting in Oct- ober,” he said.

“We also swapped Wodonga’s meeting on Friday, May 1 with Bendigo’s meeting on Friday, May 8, to ensure Wodonga’s meeting isn’t run on the same day as the Wagga Cup.”