Diggers Cup $15,000 drawcard as harness racing returns Anzac Day

EMOTIONAL WIN: Debra Jean took out the Clarrie and Val Robb Memorial race for Eugowra trainer Pat Jones in 2021. Photo: Kristy Williams.
EMOTIONAL WIN: Debra Jean took out the Clarrie and Val Robb Memorial race for Eugowra trainer Pat Jones in 2021. Photo: Kristy Williams.

Forbes Diggers Harness Racing Club is gearing up for its biggest day of the year this on Monday, April 25 and inviting Forbes community members trackside at the Showground paceway.

The club's Anzac Day tradition spans decades, president Lex Crosby explains: the club itself was founded by returned service men and women to raise funds to build an RSL club in Forbes.

While the past few years have been tough for any sport and any crowd, Anzac Day has always been the club's biggest day, featuring memorial races to some of the sport's local identities and families, so Crosby is delighted to announce it's now also the club's Carnival of Cups day.

The Club Forbes Diggers Cup is the feature race of a potential nine-race program, now offering $15,000 in prize money of a total pool of more than $87,000.

"That's a significant increase in prize money and it's going to bring a lot of horses from a wider range," Crosby said.

"We are very grateful to all our sponsors and to Club Forbes, who have done it tough the past couple of years."

Looking to the day's racning Bernie Hewitt's Iamajoyride has drawn barrier one in the Cup, Amanda Turnbull's Smooth Overarm two, Nathan Hurst's Eagle Commander 3, Nathan Turnbull's Our Antonio Rose 4, Amanda Turnbull's Perfect Cut 5 and Steve Turnbull's Saint Emilion 6.

The local hope, Gary Eyre's Karinya Rocco, has drawn barrier 7 and Steven Turnbull's Major Bracken 8.

An Anzac service will be held, as is tradition, before the running of the Cup.

"It's very meaningful as horses served in many conflicts," Crosby said. "We have the Town Band again this year, they will be participating in the ceremony.".

The afternoon features the Robert Lee Memorial, the Neville Pellow Memorial, the Pud Woods Memorial, Les Findlay Memorial, and Clarrie and Val Robb Memorial.

Local trainers with pacers nominated include: Terry Robb with Grinorama and Crazy in Love in Race 2 and Harley James in Race 3; Adam Bellach with Rocknroll Ranger in Race 3 and Royal Feeling in Race 6; Grant Jones with Miss Paul in Race 3, Quadricep in Race 6 and Warraderry in Race 8.

Entry is $10 adults, $5 pensioners and free for Under 16s and Club Forbes members.

Gates open 11.15am with the first race at 12.08pm.

Once on course the venue is cash only - no EFTPOS.

There will be a canteen, bar and full TAB facilities.

Bring along the family, there will be a children's entertainment marquee thanks to Forbes Public School.

Last race 4.45pm.