Off and racing in 2017's Mudgee Cup

ON TRACK: Mudgee Race Club's Colleen Walker said the racetrack "has never been better" for Friday's $50,000 Robert Oatley Vineyards 2017 Mudgee Showcase Cup.
ON TRACK: Mudgee Race Club's Colleen Walker said the racetrack "has never been better" for Friday's $50,000 Robert Oatley Vineyards 2017 Mudgee Showcase Cup.

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CUTE AND FASHIONABLE: Juniors can also enter the Fashions on Field competition. Penny Heller was a past winner in an outfit created by her mother Jane.

CUTE AND FASHIONABLE: Juniors can also enter the Fashions on Field competition. Penny Heller was a past winner in an outfit created by her mother Jane.

The track is ready, the frocks, fascinators and suits are ready and the countdown has begun for the highlight of the region’s racing calendar – the Mudgee Cup.

The Mudgee Racing Club’s much anticipated annual event will be held on Friday, December 1. The highlight of the eight race program will be the running of the Robert Oatley Vineyards 2017 Mudgee Showcase Cup.

“The calibre of racing this year is as good as you’ll ever see,” Mudgee Racing Club secretary Colleen Walker said. “We have had exceptional nominations.”

CHEERS: Rachel Jackson, Candice Thompson, Steph Halpin, Claudia Shearman and Bianca Hughes enjoyed themselves at last year's Mudgee Cup.

CHEERS: Rachel Jackson, Candice Thompson, Steph Halpin, Claudia Shearman and Bianca Hughes enjoyed themselves at last year's Mudgee Cup.

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When the crowds flock to the course on Friday for a day of exciting racing, great food and entertainment, they probably won’t be aware of the enormous effort put in by many people to get the venue in tip-top condition.

“In February, a freak storm hit the area and the racecourse sustained quite a bit of damage,” Ms Walker said. “Our marques were blown over and the starting gates damaged. We have done a lot of rebuilding and everything has come together, including a number of improvements to the course and laying of the turf. So many people have pitched in to get us ready for the cup. Everyone has given 110 per cent. To everyone involved – every builder, every tradesperson and the community – we say a huge ‘thank you’.”

For the past 15 years the event, which continues to draw great crowds, has been sponsored by Robert Oatley Vineyards.

“We are so fortunate with the support we get from the community and so lucky to have the generosity of our major sponsor Robert Oatley Vineyards,” Ms Walker said.

“Again this year all our auditorium, reserved seating and marquees are booked out, but we are encouraging people to come along and enjoy the entertainment, atmosphere, wine, roses and the beautiful vista of the racecourse. There will be seating in the general public areas and as much shade as we can muster.”

As well as a competitive day of racing, Ms Walker said there will be “thousands of dollars worth of prizes for the gentlemen, ladies and juniors” to share in the Fashions on the Field competition.

Calcutta and charity auction

A Mudgee Cup Calcutta and charity auction will be held on Thursday, November 30, at the Oriental Hotel (6 Lewis Street, Mudgee, phone 6372 1074). People can enjoy a great meal while supporting a great charity as proceeds will go to the Black Dog Institute. Arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. 

Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast 

Getting into the spirit of the day, the Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast will broadcast from the Butcher Shop Cafe at 5.30am on Friday.

Off and racing

  • Gates open at 11am.
  • First race will be at approximately 1.35pm. 
  • No beverages of any kind are to be taken onto the premises. Eskies and bags will be checked at the gate.
  • Entry cost is $15 for adults. Children receive free entry. 
  • Courtesy buses will run from The Woolpack Hotel, The Oriental Hotel and The Paragon Hotel. 
  • Dress up to be part of the Fashions on the Field.