Good recent rainfall will have the Cessnock Racecourse track in great order for next Tuesday’s race meeting. It will be the final meeting before one of Cessnock’s most popular and traditional racedays of the year on Anzac Day. Admission is free on Tuesday but the cost of admission on Anzac Day is $10. However, by going to the Newcastle Racecourse website as follows, racegoers can secure two admission tickets for the price of one……
Last year on Anzac Day a special memorial to the “Walers” used by the light horsemen in the First World War was unveiled. A life-sized statue of legendary war horse “Bill the Bastard” was unveiled and the statue stands inside the main entrance to the racetrack.
On Anzac Day 2018, the family of the late Major Michael Shanahan will be guests of the Newcastle Jockey Club at Cessnock. Shanahan was Bill the Bastard’s rider during the war. The Anzac Day meeting will comprise six races instead of the normal five at the non-Tab fixture given the Newcastle Jockey Club’s commitment to the day.
In a first for Cessnock, a 2700 metre race will be included on the program. The field will jump from the 900-metre mark and the race is a Benchmark 50 Handicap to be called the ‘Jericho Cup’ – named after the famous wartime staying race won by Bill the Bastard. Other Anzac Day activities will take place on the track including Two-Up, a last post memorial, a band and a free kids zone.
Cessnock trained mare Tavisky notched up a break through win at Wyong on February 20. The New Zealand bred four-year-old is trained by her owner Greg Preston. A second placing at Cessnock in June was Taivsky’s only placing in seven starts prior to the win. She was in the first two all the way in the Wyong Maiden and after reaching the lead 400 metres out she held on to beat the odds on favourite Mighty Marmalade. The first prizemoney was $16,630.