Laura races draw huge crowd
Douglas locals support anniversary meeting
A caravan crash that blocked the Mulligan Highway at Mt Malloy for hours, failed to stop thousands of people attending the 125th Anniversary Laura Cup meeting, located close to the far north town. Sure, many arrived late on Friday afternoon but were soon partying to celebrate the historic event and the traditional Calcutta.
The race meeting itself was held under blue skies, sunshine with a cool breeze across the track helped to keep racegoers comfortable. A rodeo was also held on the weekend and that also went off without a hitch.
The feature race of the day, the Laura Cup, was won by the favourite Battle Cry trained by Stephen Massingham from Cairns and ridden by a very excited Nor Yadi. The All Too Hard gelding sat off the pace and his run was timed to perfection by Nor, who rode a heady race to win by a length over Forgiato with Buxton 3rd. Throw in ‘Fashions on The Field’ and you had an atmosphere to rival a city race meeting.
Historic day for the club
Laura Club President Graham Love told Newsport the 125th Anniversary meeting was something special after the club was forced to hold the meeting in Mareeba last year “This historic race meeting just had to be held here at this beautiful track and while we’re grateful to Mareeba for hosting it last year, it’s great to be home” he said.
Secretary Jenni Sorenson said the Friday night Calcutta was a huge success and despite the Cup only having five runners this year, it was supported by more dollars than in previous years where there were more runners. “It was massive with everyone getting into the spirit of things and there was no bad behaviour, which is exactly what we want” she said. A police presence between the rodeo and the race meeting ensured a trouble-free zone where families felt safe.
Dozens of kids set about collecting bottles and cans during the three days and made a killing but also kept the place spotless. A high number of patrons at the races and the rodeo were from the Douglas Shire and indicated to Newsport they’ll be back in 2023.
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