Kalaru riders home in a storm

YOU could be forgiven for thinking it was ladies day at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club’s Boxing Day race meeting. 

The turf club has become synonymous with a large group of very successful female jockeys and last Thursday’s meet proved to be plenty of the same.

Sapphire Coast Turf Club secretary/manager Rob Tweedie said the Boxing Day races were “massive” for female jockeys.

Visiting women rode four winners from five starts, with experienced jockey Kayla McEwen securing two victories.

McEwen’s highlight was riding the Shea Reynolds-trained Fits and Starts to victory in the main race, the Bendigo Bank Pambula Cup Benchmark 55 handicap (1200m).

McEwen also rode Jayko, trained by Chris Hensler, to the win in the Heffernan Home Loans Benchmark 50 handicap (1400m).

The results mean McEwen has now ridden 100 winners in her career.

Fellow jockeys Maddison Wright, Tara-Jane Mitchell and James Geppert rode the other winners on Thursday.

Tweedie said the blokes were able to finally claim one back to close out proceedings. 

“James got one back for the boys in the last race,” Tweedie said.

Mother Nature also played a part on the day as a crystal blue sky greyed quickly in the afternoon. 

Tweedie said the first two races were run in astounding sunshine.

However, the fashions on the field were lucky to even take the field ahead of the building storm.  

By race three heavy clouds rolled in and the sky was suddenly full of lightning and distantly rumbling thunder. 

A large downpour didn’t dampen any spirits, but did send the large crowd scurrying for shelter in the turf club pavilion. 

However, Tweedie said the weather had no effect on the racing action.

“The storm was far enough way – the horses weren’t too bothered,” he said.

As part of entertainment for the day the club had a mechanical bull on hand for race-goers to try their hand at. 

It proved a hit with youngsters and adults alike as a large crowd gathered in the hopes of besting the beast. 

Unfortunately, the bull did fall victim to the weather.

The action continues at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club on Thursday with the annual Tathra Cup.

In a quick turnaround, the club will host its second meeting within seven days.

Tweedie said the Tathra Cup is a seven-race TAB meeting.

Tweedie said he expected to see a good-sized crowd this Thursday.

“It’s hard to judge the crowd, but I don’t think there will be as many as Boxing Day,” he said.

“But it will be a good crowd of holiday makers and locals.”

The main attraction will be the Tathra Beach Bowling Club Tathra Cup Benchmark 65 handicap (1000m).

The club is also excited about holding a two-day carnival for the Bega Cup, which will run on February 1 and 2. 

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