All eyes on Bunbury track this weekend

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Bunbury Turf Club general manager Alex Doble puts the final touches on the grounds ahead of this weeks season launch.
Camera IconBunbury Turf Club general manager Alex Doble puts the final touches on the grounds ahead of this weeks season launch. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

The stakes will be high when the Bunbury Turf Club opens its season with a stand-alone WA raceday on Saturday.

Metropolitan prize money will be on offer for all races, with the main event – the $100,000 TABTouch-Bunbury 3YO Classic (1000m) – to feature some of the best up-and-coming three-year-olds the State has to offer.

Bunbury Turf Club general manager Alex Doble said he expected a few thousand people to attend the meet.

“It is a great way to kick off the season,” he said.

“There will be great racing around the country with the Group One Caulfield Guineas and the ($10m) TAB Everest run for the first time in Sydney.

“There are no real excuses for the punters to not come out and enjoy the racing in Bunbury.”

Doble said there would be eight races on the day starting from 1.10pm and going until 5.30pm.

“We are an outside chance for a division (race), but we are scheduled for eight,” he said.

“The three-year-old race is a launching pad for those aiming towards the Guineas.”

Doble said the industry was “facing its challenges”.

“But we are holding up OK,” he said.

“We are expecting good, strong fields again throughout the season.

“Locally training numbers are around the same with the amount of horses accessing the track.

“The numbers are holding up which is all we can do.”

Doble said he had spoken to trainers who were confident they had some good runners.

“Early season people always spruik their younger horses,” he said.

“They all think they have something special. That is the beautiful thing about racing as there is always tomorrow.

“Overall our training ranks are pretty strong, especially a few trainers in particular.”

Doble said response to the XXXX Gold Bunbury Cup being changed to a Sunday had been “positive”.

“They understand why we are making the move,” he said.

“As we alluded to at the time it is part of a strategy for us to get a stand-alone Saturday meet.

“It was indicated to us that this was the best way to go about that.

“So hopefully in the next few years we will be racing a Wednesday-Saturday combination.”

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