Cambridge hoping for luck
By Michael Guerin
Cambridge harness bosses are hoping the second of their rescheduled feature races this summer goes better than the first.
The club has been forced to drop the $30,000 Futurity scheduled for Sunday’s daytime meeting after attracting only four final entries for the $30,000 four and five-year-old race.
The race had already been moved from its Christmas Eve date because the presence of elite open class horses would often scare the minnows away but that still couldn’t boost numbers for new date.
“It is a real shame, we wanted to hold it,” says Cambridge boss David Branch.
“We have a similar move coming up in two weeks on February 21 with the Dinny Johnston Waikato Guineas so we hope that gets the support it deserves.
“We have moved it from early January after failing to get a field the last couple of years.
“It is a $20,000 three-year-old race and hopefully we can get it off the ground. I sometimes struggle to understand why we can’t get enough horses for these races.” While losing any feature race is annoying there are also some positives for Cambridge as they prepare to host the Jewels again on May 30.
IRT have returned at the main naming rights sponsor while all but one of the nine races already have an individual sponsor.
“We are miles ahead of where we were at this stage two years ago for my first Jewels,” says Branch.
“We are really confident we will sell out the hospitality areas like we did then so our emphasis is on getting 1000 more general admissions customers here.
“So we have levelled off the ground between the two stands so we can move our main marquee there and bring more of the public out of the front of the stands to watch the races and enjoy the atmosphere.” Tickets for the Jewels went on sale yesterday.
The club has also bought back the lease on the Clubhouse Cafe and Bar on the track, meaning they are now in charge of it and are keen to get it back to its heyday when it was popular with punters and those in the racing industry.