They have always been bold at the Hawkesbury race club and the development of their stand alone Saturday meeting is a testament to the hard work and dedication constantly put in by the members.
Their next task though is perhaps even bolder with a plan to hit the seven figure mark for prize money in the 2012 instalment of the event.
“It has been the club’s aim for a few years now to have prizemoney of at least $1 million for the eight races at our stand-alone race day,” HRC chief executive Brian Fletcher said.
“This meeting continues to go from strength to strength and if the High Court rules that the race fields legislation is validated later this year, then we will certainly look at increasing prizemoney.”
Given the strength of the fields nominated for this weekend’s instalment it’s hard to argue with Fletcher with all eight races showing an overflow of metropolitan talent.
“I’ve no doubt this is the best Saturday stand-alone we have had so far,” he said.
The main event Listed Hawkesbury Mile boasts a capacity field of 16 in 2011 and just have a look at some of the names, Empires Choice, Newport, Miss Keepsake, all Group 1 champions.
Add to the mix impressive gallopers Pureness, Mr Unforgettable and Snow Alert and you can see why the Hawkesbury club is getting excited.
In the Hawkesbury Guineas it’s a similar story with 14 acceptors for the Listed $150,000 race.
Magic Millions winner Torio’s Quest leads a crack line up including Sea Lord, Steps In Time and the unbeaten Lucha Libre.
All up there are 112 acceptances for the meeting and a good portion of them have been sent by the country’s best trainers.
Arguably Australia’s best over the Autumn, Peter Snowden has four chances on the Hawkesbury card and has a big chance with Screen in the final Listed race, the $150,000 Darley Crown.
Fletcher is hoping all this promising talent can transcend into a windfall for the club with TAB revenue higher than the record set last year.
In 2010 NSW TAB figures showed the day attracted a crowd of over 13,000 with $7.2 Million turned over by punters on the event.
“All we need is a break with the weather,” he said.
“I’m sure we’ll still get a good crowd but if we can get some fine weather, maybe last year’s attendance figure can be broken.
“The quality of the fields is so good I’m expecting TAB sales will be healthy. The TAB betting results we achieved last year exceeded returns for 14 Sydney Saturday meetings.
“Again, the concern I have is the rain-affected track conditions.
“We have had just over 30ml of rain at the track since last Friday and the track is a heavy eight – we don’t want any more rain.”