It will be a social explosion at Cootamundra Racecourse on Sunday, October 1, with Cootamundra Turf Club hosting a bumper eight-race program headlined by the $32,000 Cootamundra Cup (1600m).

While racing will take centre stage, the fashions on the field competition will keep patrons entertained off-track. Sections on the day will be classic lady, contemporary lady, millinery, gentleman of the day, couple of the day, best-dressed teen and best-dressed junior. Add to that some race day entertainment, which is still being finalised, and a big crowd is expected on course for what will be a welcome return to racing for the Southern Districts club.

“It’s just good to be back racing,” Cootamundra Turf Club President Greg Ewings said. “We only found out that we would be 100% racing in the middle of August, and we are still finalising some of those details, but we are aiming to have some music and entertainment. “It’s a long weekend, and our meeting is the highlight of NSW racing on the day. “It works well with the AFL Grand Final on Saturday and the NRL Grand Final the night of our meeting, meaning it’s a good way to spend the full weekend.”

It’s been tough times for the Cootamundra club, with multiple flooding events preceded by the COVID pandemic, meaning they have either missed race days or have not been able to host big crowds since 2019. Ewings is hoping the local community gets out to support his club’s meeting.

“We have a well-regarded facility, but it’s been hard not racing and we’ve had no income in three or four years, but we’ve still done a lot of work on the track and surrounds to ensure we are able to race on it and have a good day,” Ewings said. “We’ve purchased necessary equipment, and we’ve had some local council assistance, but we haven’t had a cent paid, and it’s been on us, while upgrades have been on the back of the work of volunteers and local contractors that have helped us out. “In between all those weather events, we’ve had drainage work done in the outer grounds, which we hope will divert smaller amounts of rain off the course, and the council did some work on Jindalee Road, and those improvements will also help. “In terms of the track, it’s looking great and we should be racing on a good surface, and the grounds are looking great.”

On the day, there will be the TAB, bookmakers, and bar and food facilities, while the gates opening at 11:30 a.m. It’s $20 per person to enter and kids under-18 can get in for free. Cootamundra Turf Club was also set to host their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday September 20, and the Cootamundra Times will publish more on this meeting, and nominations, tips, and a Cootamundra Cup story in next week’s publication.