Punters wage a record $9.5 million on Rocky Cup meeting
HORSE RACING: Off-course betting turnover Australia-wide reached a record new high for a Rockhampton race meeting last Friday.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club’s nine-race Cup program generated $9.5 million in total wagering on TABS and corporate bookmakers operating in Australia.
This colossal figured was more than $2.4 million up on the previous record which surprisingly occurred at the June 13, 2020, RJC race meeting.
The club’s CEO Tony Fenlon said there were a number of contributing factors which led to the huge betting frenzy on the Rockhampton races.
“Our Rocky Cup meeting clashed with a Geelong meeting on a synthetic track as well as Taree and Dubbo which both raced on soft rated tracks,” he said.
“Callaghan Park presented beautifully on the SKY TV coverage and the track raced, in my opinion, evenly and without any bias. Horses won from leading or being in forward positions as well as coming from well back as winner Finucane Missile demonstrated with his brilliant last to first effort.
“Punters are very savvy to these issues and that as well as strong fields, well-known horses and jockeys and brilliant racing I believe led to such an amazing record turnover.”
He said the previous record figure being shattered twice in the last month had been $6.9 million for a day’s total at a Rockhampton Newmarket race meeting back in 2018.
Fenlon said without any doubt the Cup-Rocky Newmarket meeting last Friday had been a success and it was uplifting to have patrons back on the track.
“We were only permitted 300 on course under COVID-19 protocols but I feel we catered for them well with functions of around 100 persons each in three separate dining and drinking areas,” he said.
“There was a buzz about the day with plenty of happy faces and many compliments from patrons just so happy to be back at the races for the first time since March.
“Yes, the club was very happy the way the day panned out and really the racing was first class.”
Now the RJC is in planning mode for a quick back-up race meeting at Callaghan Park this Saturday where all up with participating stakeholders included, a maximum of 500 people is permitted to attend.
“We are marking the occasion as our Christmas in July race meeting. There is a $50 a head two-course Christmas in July luncheon in the Members Lounge which includes table booking.
“As well the grandstand lounge, now known as the CQARC lounge, will be open for owners and members as well. The $25 per person entrance includes entry to this area.
“Only those patrons that have pre-paid the $50 for the luncheon in the Members Lounge will be permitted in that area which is capped at 150.”
Fenlon stressed that all persons planning to attending Saturday’s meeting, including owners, members and the public, must pre-register with the RJC well before race day.
Some 90 entries have been received for Saturday’s TAB program at Callaghan Park including some from visiting SEQ stables.
The John Wigginton-trained Better Reflection will be out to redeem herself when she contests the $90K QTIS 3YO Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
TAB racing heads to Mackay today where a number of Rockhampton-trained horses will compete in the 10-race TAB card including the in-form Jamie McConachy-trained Little Hunter.
In a busy week for regional Queensland TAB racing outside the south-east, the Townsville Turf Club races on Thursday.
The Raymond Williams-trained Boot Shaker is the only Central Queensland-trained horse entered for the Townsville meeting.