David Peel and Peter Peirano hold up the Rocky Amateur Cup in Phil Peel Leading Edge Jeweller on East St where it is currently on display.
David Peel and Peter Peirano hold up the Rocky Amateur Cup in Phil Peel Leading Edge Jeweller on East St where it is currently on display. Chris Ison

Cheer on Caviar at packed track

FOR some the horse racing is secondary as the Rocky Amateurs Race Day is ringed on everybody's calendar.

Nobody is more aware of what Saturday's meeting means to the community than the chairman of the Central Queensland Amateur Racing Club Peter Peirano.

“What I want to achieve is getting people out in open, fresh air and away from Twitter and Facebook to re-learn the art of socialising,” he said.

Peirano said the race day provides something for everyone to enjoy whether it's admiring the fashions, or just spending the afternoon in good, friendly company.

“The amateurs is unique,” he added.

Even those who know little about the horses can have a good time by being a part of the enthusiasm that is generated by a large crowd at the race track.

“I don't bet but people can come along and have a $2 donkey bet,” he said.

“It is not an expensive day, it is a nice day and can be enjoyed in our beautiful climate.”

A popular event is the Fashions on the Field which is a big part of Amateurs Race Day.

So what fashion statement will the chairman of the CQ Amateur Racing Club be making?

“As chairman I will have some good shoes and a traditional suit,” Peirano said.

Saturday's Race Day coincides with Black Caviar's appearance in the Group 1 BTC Cup at Doomben in Brisbane and organisers say the best place in Rockhampton to join in the atmosphere of this Champion mare's quest for 13 consecutive wins will be at the Rocky Amateurs at Callaghan Park.

Secretary of the CQ Amateur Racing Club Bruce Slattery said ladies, gentlemen and children will all be eligible to compete in the Black Caviar section of the Fashions on the Field, and the club will ask fashion judges to look for those who, in their race day attire, have joined in the spirit of this section by showing the most support for Black Caviar whose racing colours are orange with black spots.

One-thousand dollars in prizemoney has been allocated for the novel Black Caviar Fashion Competition.

Another popular feature of the day is the resurrected Wilpeena Races auction.

The auction was held annually from 1964 and conducted by the Mackenzie River Amateur Race Club at their meeting at Wilpeena Station, Dingo, raising in excess of $300,000 for charity.

However that club was wound up in 2008 with regulars losing the opportunity of enjoying the thrill of virtual ownership for a racing event.

Thanks to the support of sponsors National Australia Bank and Alan and Jennifer Acton of the Wilpeena Cattle Company, the auction will feature as one of the highlights of the race day.

The club will conduct the auction on the main race of the day, the $22,000 Reid Liquor Rocky Amateurs Cup over 1600 metres with all starters auctioned in the mounting enclosure before the race.

Beneficiary of the Wilpeena Races auction will be the Rockhampton branch of the Queensland Cancer Council and between $10,000 and $15,000 is expected to be raised.



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