HISTORIC OCCASION: The Centenary of the Ballina Cup will be marked at this year’s race day on Friday. Pictured are major sponsors John Hobson, who is the publican of the Slipway Hotel, pub manager Kel Campbell and general manager of the Ballina Jockey Club, Matthew Bertram.
HISTORIC OCCASION: The Centenary of the Ballina Cup will be marked at this year’s race day on Friday. Pictured are major sponsors John Hobson, who is the publican of the Slipway Hotel, pub manager Kel Campbell and general manager of the Ballina Jockey Club, Matthew Bertram. Graham Broadhead

Ballina Cup turns 100

THEY'll be racing for 100 years for the Cup in Ballina this Friday.

This year's Ballina Cup will mark the centenary of the big race, which has been a huge part of the social calendar over the years.

General Manager of the Ballina Jockey Club, Matthew Bertram, said the community had rallied behind the Cup this year, with sales of tickets for the VIP marquee increasing by 500% on last year.

And those tickets are still available from the Ballina Jockey Club at $150 per person.

He said racing had been part of the social fabric of the Ballina community for more than 100 years.

He said the recent visit of the Melbourne Cup to Ballina also sparked interest in the Ballina Cup.

During that visit, Chairman of the Ballina Jockey Club, Greg Nash, described the Ballina Cup as the 'second biggest race in Australia', with tongue firmly in cheek.

A horse called Poor Tom was the winner of the first Ballina Cup, which was held on Boxing Day in 1914. The Slipway Hotel has once again come on board as the major sponsor for the 1600m Ballina Cup.

Pre-purchase tickets for the Cup are available at the River St pub for $15. Tickets on the day will cost $20.

Free buses to the racecourse will operate on the day - see the Ballina Jockey Club's website for details.

And racegoers are encouraged to dress up and enter the Fashions on the Field being co-ordinated by Candy Fitness from Candylane at Alstonville.

Friday is a part-day public holiday for Ballina Shire, from noon to 6pm.


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