GIDDY UP: Country racing will get underway at Bluff over the weekend with up to $60,000 prize money up for grabs.
GIDDY UP: Country racing will get underway at Bluff over the weekend with up to $60,000 prize money up for grabs. Meghan Kidd Emebluffraces

$60K country meet is no bluff

THE railway township of Bluff will host its biggest and undoubtedly richest race meeting on November 28 with $60,000 prize money being offered for a mammoth seven race cards.

Billed as the "super seven," horses from near and far are expected to be taking part at the gallops.

Naturally officials of the Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race Club are on a high as the countdown proceeds to their "Melbourne Cup" of the year.

The club's promotion conscious Secretary Allison McLaughlin, the wife of local trainer Aaron, said the close knit Bluff community was abuzz with excitement.

"We are really genuinely excited to be hosting our first 1800 metres Bluff Cup which offers $10,000 prize money for Benchmark 65 class horses," she said.

In keeping with tradition, Bluff will also run a Newmarket catering for the open class sprinters with a $10,000 prize purse.

"That is huge money for country racing and it is imperative that trainers and owners support us," Allison said.

Early this year Bluff's only other race meeting was cancelled due to Cyclone Marcia, hence the expanded platform of races on November 28.

"The worth of country race meetings such as that of Bluff should never be under estimated as far as community value goes. Our coming meeting provides a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors to host a Christmas party with friends," Allison said.

While most country race clubs have a theme attached to their annuals, Bluff's kicked-in years ago around the Annual Mechanical Bull Ride Competition.

"It's a great drawcard not only for competitors but also spectators. It goes into the night with local DJ entertaining to keep the crowd on their toes," the race caller Scott Power said.

Scott's wife, fashion guru Dee Power is just back from the Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival and is coordinating the Fashions on the Field for the afternoon at Bluff.

"Like all country race meetings these days, women, men and the young ones take their appearance on the day very seriously. We have a number of categories arranged with some valuable prizes," Dee said.

For those local and nearby racegoers planning party time, coaches will be on standby providing transportation to and from Blackwater.

The leading jockey of the afternoon will win the Claude Offord Trophy in honour of one of the district's fallen hoops.

Entries for the "super-seven" Bluff races close at 11am next Tuesday.



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