SKELLATAR Park “should be a treat” for the $100,000 MRS Services Group Muswellbrook Gold Cup, according to track manager Steve Bottomley.
The racecourse will play host to some of the best gallopers in the country on Friday, December 8.
And, the trainers, jockeys and punters won’t have too much to complain about, thanks to the efforts of Bottomley and his hard-working team.
“I’m really happy with the track,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so I’m aiming for a good three on the day.
“The rail will be in a true position, while the kikuyu is growing well.
“Everything’s primed for a big one.
“And, since we’re expecting rain in the lead-up to the meeting, we’ll slow down the irrigation now – there’s nothing better than a thunderstorm.
“The weather ought to be great next week.
“So, we’re staying optimistic.
“But, I have to give credit to Bob Purvis and Garry Fraser (track maintenance), Dorothy Robinson (trackwork supervisor and gardens), apprentice track curator Dominic Cooper and casuals Blair and Cameron for their assistance, too.”
Bottomley, who is overseeing his sixth Muswellbrook Cup, has nothing but praise for the new date on the Muswellbrook Race Club calendar.
“I think December [instead of November] works well,” he said.
“We’ve got the golf day [on December 7], the races [on December 8] and the Glencore Upper Hunter Christmas Spectacular [on December 9].
“It makes for a great weekend – and can bring the community together.
“The $100,000 purse for the Cup should bring a better quality of galloper to town, too.
“Then you have the $50,000 Horsepower Skellatar Sprint Showcase and the $40,000 Mt Arthur Coal Wayne Harris Showcase Handicap.
“That’s more than $300,000 in prizemoney for an eight-race card.
“The big names are coming to the club regularly these days.
“So, we need the place looking ship-shape.”