OFF AND RACING: Stanthorpe Jockey Club officials are ‘hopeful’ the race meeting will go ahead, with lingering uncertainty due to coronavirus restrictions.
OFF AND RACING: Stanthorpe Jockey Club officials are ‘hopeful’ the race meeting will go ahead, with lingering uncertainty due to coronavirus restrictions.

‘DISASTER’: Jockey Club’s looming fears over race day

THE fate of the Stanthorpe Cup hangs in the balance with organisers hesitant to call off the popular social event before the first jump.

The five-race meeting is scheduled to be held on October 17 and would be one of the first major events for the region since coronavirus restrictions came into effect in March.

Stanthorpe Jockey Club president Neil Brunckhorst said the decision was “up in the air” three months out from race day.

“We don’t want to call it off because a lot of people get a lot of enjoyment out of the day,” he said.

“There’s not much else we can do or we can say, because we don’t know any more about what is going to happen.”

The five-race meeting is loved by local trainers and those from afar.
The five-race meeting is loved by local trainers and those from afar.

It’s a race meeting well supported by people from the Granite Belt region, according to Mr Brunkhorst, with very few out-of-towners attending the event.

He said the spike in virus cases in southern states made it difficult to believe the race day could go ahead.

“That’s the problem, we get about 2000 people and to have them social distancing, I don’t know how you could possibly keep people apart,” he said.

“And we don’t want to be responsible for people getting fined or us getting fined.

“I think it would probably be bigger than ever simply because people have been locked up for so long.”

As the jockey club’s only race meeting, Mr Brunckhorst said it would be a financial “disaster’ for the club and the town if the event couldn’t go ahead.

“It is a very profitable day for us but the whole district is booked out on race weekend, the Friday and the Saturday night,” he said.

‘It won’t be good for the town if we don’t go ahead.

“We’re hopeful rather than confident, it will go ahead.”

A decision on whether the cup will go ahead is expected to be made in mid-August.

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