Narromine Cup 2018: Event brings some magic to drought-affected town

Dubbo trainer Garry Lunn and Narromine’s Wayne Collison are set to join a bumper crowd at the Narromine Turf Club this weekend when it hosts the $35,000 Narromine Cup (1600 metres).

DOUBLE: A Magic Zariz, pictured prior to his last start at Wellington, will be the favourite at Narromine on Sunday. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

DOUBLE: A Magic Zariz, pictured prior to his last start at Wellington, will be the favourite at Narromine on Sunday. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

A total of 140 nominations have been received for Sunday’s eight race event, and the level of interest has encouraged Narromine Turf Club president Matt Barrett.

“Full fields it will be … it’s fantastic,” he said.

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“It speaks volumes for the track and the curator [Ricky Blewitt] I think. Narromine is known as a very clear track, plenty of room to move and to have that sort of prize money is a big thing.

“We’d love to get more races and hopefully we will one day, but we’re very encouraged by the size of the fields and getting trainers from far afield to come to Narromine.”

2017 Narromine Cup winner A Magic Zariz is tipped to defend his title on Sunday with the top weight and good recent form following a 42 week spell.

Trained by Cecil Hodgson at Coonamble, the six-year-old bay gelding proved his ability against potential Narromine starters Red Knot, Annandale Lass, Magic Over The Bay, Turcotte and Umgeni by winning the Macquarie Toyota Cattleman’s Handicap (1400m) at the Warren and District Jockey Club last month.

But Sunday’s Cup has also drawn the likes of Hawkesbury trainers Tara and Philippe Vigouroux, and trainers from across the state.

Matt Barrett.

Matt Barrett.

Barrett credited the turf club curator and staff, the committee as well as Narromine Shire Council for boosting the track’s appeal.

“Curator Ricky Blewitt, he’s been doing a wonderful job out there,” he said.

“It looks fantastic and the club has invested heavily in the facilities up there so it’s a benefit to the trainers and everyone.

“It speaks volumes, the committee and the staff should be commended.”

Barrett said the influx of visitors, and event itself, would be a great boost for the drought-affected town.

“It’s massive. Regardless of the seasonal conditions and the financial conditions, events like this bring a community together,” he said.

“It gives a chance for everyone to get into town and socialise … everyone feels the affects of a drought so if we can provide a place for people to come in, chew the fat and take a load off then that’s great.

“We’d encourage everyone to get over to Narromine for the day and … feel free to come and browse through town beforehand. It’s especially important in tough times like this for people to spend their money in small towns like this because they’re at the coalface and we need these businesses to continue on.”