SATURDAY’S Orange Picnic Races is set to be the biggest meet in recent memory.
Nominations came in yesterday, and the meeting is already being buoyed by a 20 per cent increase on entries compared to 2013.
Forty-four horses have nominated for the event, and Orange and District Picnic Races chairman Ben O’Halloran said the increase was exciting.
“It’s much higher than we expected,” said.
“We’re a picnic meet so we never get anywhere near the numbers of a TAB meeting, but we’re up 20 per cent on horse numbers last year so we’re expecting a really good meet.”
O’Halloran said the continued support of the region’s trainers was the most impressive facet of the nominations.
“It’s always a mixed bag of who nominates really,” he explained.
“There are a couple of horses from Cowra we’re excited to see, and plenty of other locals have also nominated.”
The Orange Picnic Races will feature, at this stage, a bumper six-race program, highlighted by the $4000 Orange Picnic Cup (1300 metres).
Five-year-old mare Kimber, trained in Orange by Brian Buckley, is among the nine Cup nominations and should be ready to improve at her fourth run from a spell.
Also, the meeting will feature marquees, a food fare to showcase the area’s local produce and the always popular fashions on the field competition.
O’Halloran is hoping all the features of the meeting, and the weekend scheduling, will combine to draw a huge crowd.
“The marquees are selling out at the moment,” he explained.
“We’re hoping for around two, to two-and-a half thousand.”
Gates open at Towac Park at noon. For more information on marquees, and the meeting itself head to the Orange and District Picnic Races website.