Sport

A big boost for Echuca Racing Club’s big day

By Riverine Herald

THE 2020 Moama Bowling Club Echuca Cup – to be run on March 8 – has received a massive boost in prize money and runners will be sprinting towards a $100,000 payday jackpot at the end of the 1400m.

It is the first time the cup has broken the six-figure barrier and is part of a $75,000 hike in total prize money across the day.

Echuca Racing Club general manager Garry Armstrong said the extra funding meant every race on cup day will be worth a minimum of $35,000.

Armstrong described the cash injection as a “fantastic result” for ERC.

Cup day racegoers will also get to rub shoulders with turf history when living legend Efficient makes an appearance in the home straight and will pose for pictures with fans. Efficient won the 2007 Melbourne Cup and the VRC Derby and Turnbull Stakes for career earnings of $4.7 million.

“Through the support of major sponsors such as Moama Bowling Club and Racing Victoria the Echuca Cup day is already firmly established as a premier event on the country cups circuit,” Armstrong said. “But making the cup a $100,000 event takes us to another level and we expect a lot of the big-name trainers will now be adding it to their annual calendars.

“And cup day isn’t just about the racing; it’s always a big family day and we will have plenty of things for the kids such as a jumping castle, face painting, a giant water slide and other activities while the parents can make the most of our race day packages, including umbrella packages, corporate marquees and our fully catered marquee.

“There will also be free courtesy buses running between the racecourse and Echuca and Moama.”

March 8 will also be something of a comeback for Armstrong himself. He was ERC manager from 2008-2012 before a stint at Rockhampton Racing Club in Queensland, four years at Moama RSL and then ran the Alice Springs Turf Club for two years.

“That was a lot more hectic than it sounds, we had a dirt track and raced 33 times a year, which kept us pretty busy,” Armstrong said.

“It is exciting to be part of the local racing scene again and it is so important the ERC is not just a strong part of the Echuca economy but that it increases its local profile and has strong ties within the community,” he said. “Our venue is an attractive place to visit and an easy place to enjoy and we look forward to seeing a big crowd on cup day.”