Our Sporting Life SA

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Saturday Meeting at Gawler a Success

Image Peter Argent/OSLSA

The Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club conducted its second Saturday race meeting in 48 years on Saturday, February 21. Judging by the support across the board, expect more Saturday meetings to be programmed in the future. It would not surprise if the Gawler track hosted three or four Saturday meetings in the 2015-2016 racing season. Despite the extreme heat with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees, a crowd of around 1000 attended but it was the positive talks by officials of Thoroughbred Racing South Australia TRSA), the controlling body of the sport in the state that suggested extra Saturday meetings. Jim Watters, chief executive of TRSA, said the betting figures which would be known later in the week would be a further guide to what the future held but he believed it was possible extra meetings could be scheduled. “I think the crowd is good considering the conditions, and there are other encouraging signs to allot more Saturday meetings but that is something the TRSA directors will have to consider.” Top trainer Leon Macdonald, who had a winner at the meeting with Pepper The Pin, said his association would certainly be canvassing the idea of more meetings for Gawler. “It is the best racing track in the state and gives every horse a chance, and offers a good surface which the horses appreciate,” Mr Macdonald said. Gawler shared Saturday racing with Morphettville, Victoria Park and Cheltenham from 1936-1967 when the club was reclassified as provincial and the last Saturday meeting was held on July 29, 1967. However, the club was granted a Saturday meeting for the 2006 Gawler Cup day in 2006 but that was seen as a one-off. But it would appear the club is headed for more Saturday meeting into the future. Trainer Tony McEvoy grabbed a $10,000 trainer’s bonus by training a winner at four straight city meetings in Adelaide. McEvoy picked up the win with Jimando who was sensationally backed from $1.90 to start $1.45 favourite in the Coopers Clear Handicap (1500m). Ridden by Matthew Neilson, Jimando scored a neck win from Astro Damus ($31) with Boristar ($2.60) a half neck away third.

Image Graham Fischer/Our Sporting Life SA Copyright