The Weekly Advertiser

Stawell Gold Cup key in region’s events

Connections of Prince Ziggy receive the cup  after winning  the Stuart McGregor Stawell Gold Cup at Stawell Racecourse on April 21, 2019 in Stawell, Australia. (Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos)

TOUCHING MOMENT: Anne McGregor, representing the McGregor family, presents the Stuart McGregor Stawell Gold Cup to Teepika Jones, representing the connections of Barry The Baptist. Picture: RACING.COM

By Colin MacGillivray
Stawell Racing Club leaders are confident of Stawell Gold Cup’s continued importance as part of a tapestry of Stawell and Grampians region marquee Easter events.
The cup was on Sunday, April 21, concurrent with the four-day Stawell Gift carnival – Australia’s richest footrace.
It was also just weeks before this month’s Grampians Grape Escape, a food and wine festival ranked among the best in the world.
About 3000 patrons attended this year’s cup, a rise on last year’s numbers.
Stawell Racing Club manager Mark Percival said the cup had been a big success for the club and had showed its significance to the Stawell community.
“I see the cup as a key part of the big events at Easter,” he said.
“I know we get local visitors and those that come to the region specifically for the race meeting.
“People are also attracted by the other events that go on over Easter, but we’d like to think we’re very much a big part of an iconic weekend of Australian sport. We’re so pleased we are part of it.”
Mr Percival said while organisers were focused on ensuring the cup continued to become a bigger and better experience, they did not want to do so at the expense of the homely atmosphere he said the cup was renowned for.
“We like to think we can always make the event better,” he said.
“The industry key performance indicators are all about attracting more and more people to the event.
“I looked at the crowd and thought, ‘how much bigger can it get and still have the enjoyment and joy for patrons?’ We have a very vibrant crowd and there’s always a great atmosphere at both our feature races at Christmas and Easter; a whole lot more people might take away from that.
“These feature days generate a lot of income for the club, but I wouldn’t want to see the event lose its country charm.”
Stawell trainer Paul Jones scored a local win with Barry The Baptist in the $70,000 feature race, scoring by a nose from pre-race favourite Zabalan.
The race was sponsored by the McGregor family in memory of Stawell Racing Club legend Stuart McGregor.
Anne McGregor, one of Stuart’s descendants, was on hand to present the cup to young Teepika Jones, representing Barry The Baptist’s connections.
Mr Percival said the presentation was emblematic of everything that made the event successful.
“The photo of the cup presentation says it all about the day,” he said.
“It highlights the long-term commitment the McGregor family had to our club and it also highlights what a wonderful story it was that Paul Jones was able to win it with a local horse.
“We couldn’t have written a better script if we tried.
“Our cup meeting has always been a family-themed event and it’s something that we’re very proud of.
“It’s a community event and it’s important to us that everybody does have a good time, because it’ll give them a reason to revisit the region and the event.”
ACE Radio, through The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM, sponsored the cup day.

The entire May 8, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 15 2019

Posted by on May 15 2019. Filed under News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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