Port Augusta Race Season expands to 10 races

RACING: Nicole Buckley, Molly Press, Sheree Sheil, Tori Winther at the 2016 Port Augusta  Cup, an event 1600 people attended despite dour weather.
RACING: Nicole Buckley, Molly Press, Sheree Sheil, Tori Winther at the 2016 Port Augusta Cup, an event 1600 people attended despite dour weather.

The 2017 season is shaping up to be an exciting time at the Port Augusta Racecourse thanks to a Saturday Race Day and significant infrastructure upgrade.

The Publicans Race Day is back and will be held in August, and Pink Ladies Race Day will be held on May 7.

And the newly created, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Race Day on May 20, will coincide with the Goodwood Handicap, an Adelaide’s Group 1 Race meeting.

The Port Augusta Racing Club (PARC) President Jeff Tansell said this is a unique announcement for the PARC.

“… In the past few years, there’s only ever been Saturday race meetings in Adelaide,” he said.

“The two other race meetings on same day as Saturday race meetings are the Kangaroo Island Racing Carnival (February 18) and the Clare Easter Races (April 15).

“So to be able to secure a Saturday in conjunction with a main race meeting in Adelaide is quite unique and quite a privilege.”

Mr Tansell said this will help ‘shine the spotlight on the Port Augusta Races’ – opening new sponsorship opportunities and helping the local community ‘get into the racing mood’.

The off season has been a very busy time for the PARC committee and volunteers with many improvements continuing on the course.

Sky Racing has upgraded telecast to High Definition vision, the Judges Tower is currently being demolished ready for the installation of the new Judges Tower, the Old Owners and Trainers building is being demolished, the Caretaker Residence has received an upgrade, and the Public Bar roof will be replaced. 

Mr Tansell said this is another positive for this season and beyond, and thanked Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) for their significant investment.

“It is another positive for this season, it’s good that the governing body, TRSA, are putting significant dollars into our infrastructure,” he said.

“A lot of the upgrades that we’re doing at the moment are from funds that we’ve managed to secure and generate from our own profitability but the judges tower is one that TRSA has invested significantly into.

“The new Judges Tower should arrive in the middle of March, it will be an improvement in workplace health and safety, and lets us run high-definition streaming of racing in Port Augusta.”

The announcement follows Andrew “Cosi” Costello, who hosted the Fashions on the Field competition at the 2016 City of Port Augusta Cup, featuring a segment of the races in his show South Aussie with Cosi on Sunday, January 15. The five-minute highlight package in the latest episode of Cosi’s sixth season focused on the history, racing and fashion of the 135-year-old Cup.