Race in for Boxing Day tradition

FORGET about cleaning up the discarded wrapping paper and leftover Christmas lunch. Head out to the Ballina Jockey Club on Sunday for the Boxing Day races.

The event is becoming a much-loved tradition and is also a reunion of sorts, with locals and former residents getting together for one of the biggest days ofracing in the region.

Ballina Jockey Club chief executive Sarah Wills said plans for the event were going well.

“This is a very different day from the Ballina Cup,” she said. “It's a great day for young people who used to live here and are home for Christmas.

“Last year we had about 3000 or 4000 people. It's really become a tradition for people to go to the Boxing Day races.

“We are hoping for another bumper crowd this year. Last Boxing Day, we had some service delivery issues but we have changed our operational set-up. This was put in place for Ballina Cup this year and worked extremely well.”

If you are planning to make the Boxing Day races a family event, make sure to keep the kids close by at all times.

Ms Wills said there had been problems in recent years withunaccompanied minors.

“The entire club grounds arelicensed premises, like a hotel, and we have a responsibility to ensure that minors are under the constant supervision of a responsible adult, such as a parent or guardian,” she said.

Pre-purchase tickets can be bought today for $15 (which includes express entry through a separate lane), or they will cost $20 at the gate.

Visit the office at the racecourse in Racecourse Road, Ballina, or Williams the Shoemen, at Ballina Fair.

Gates open at 11am, with the first race at 1.35pm. There will be six races on the day, including the $5000 ZZZ FM Boxing Day Cup.

RACE DAY ACTION

Gates at the Ballina Jockey Club, Racecourse Road, Ballina, open at 11am on Boxing Day.

The event is a non-TAB meeting, with the first race at 1.35pm.

The last race of the day will be run at 4.53pm.

Buses will run throughout the day between the racecourse and the Ballina CBD, Alstonville and Lennox Head.

The first Boxing Day race meeting was held in 1901 and went for three days.


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