It has been a massive season both on and off the course at Hawkesbury Race Club as the 2019-2020 racing season is set to wrap-up this Thursday, July 30.
The day is set to feature a big eight-race form as everyone hopes to finish off strong, as they head into spring.
Jockey Rachel King is poised to become the first female to win the provincial club's Hawkesbury jockeys' premiership.
King sits at 12 wins, three ahead of Jason Collett, who would need to produce a treble and for King not to ride a winner on Thursday to even share premiership honours.
The 2019-20 season has featured some big wins for many of Hawkesbury's local trainers.
Brad Widdup has exceeded last year's earnings by more than 10 per cent, sitting at $1,830,120 for 2020-21 season. His most impressive accomplishment this season was winning the 2019 Listed Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) with talented filly Akari at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Supernewman Racing (Mitch Newman) scored an outstanding double at Gosford on Saturday, April 25 with Diva Bella in Race 1 and Eight Immortal in Race 2
Tara and Philippe Vigouroux had some great home track wins with Captain Courageous on Tuesday, June 23 paying $26 and Fire Dragon winning on Sunday, July 12 paying $41.
Jason Attard & Lucy Keegan-Attard have exceeded their number of winners from last year, with eight winners this season. Similarly Ed Cummings beat his previous seasons record with four winners for a total of $186,035 in prize money.
Matthew Vella - for Glen Haven Racing - has had his most successful season yet, after acquiring talented two-year-old colt Blaze A Trail, who scored back-to-back wins since joining Vella's stable.
Off the track there as been some big changes to the club. In June 2020, long-time HRC employee Rick Johnston was appointed Racecourse Manager.
Rick has been with the Club since 2004 and has extensive experience within the horse racing industry across many areas from barriers, track preparation and grounds management.
The Club was excited to confirm Rick in this position - a well-earned promotion given his passionate and enthusiastic contribution as part of the Hawkesbury team over many years.
Also in 2020, HRC welcomed new CEO, Ken Rutherford, a former New Zealand cricketer who enjoyed a ten-year career with the national team, and was captain for a period in the 1990's.
Ken came to Hawkesbury with extensive experience in the racing and wagering industry, and has held senior roles in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand prior to his appointment as CEO of the Waikato Racing Club in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Over the 2019-20 racing season, Hawkesbury Race Club saw an increase in the average field sizes of approximately nine to 10 horses per race.
With the positive improvements made to the race track at Hawkesbury, many metropolitan trainers have brought quality horses to Hawkesbury for both racing and training exercises, such as Godolphin horses Athiri and Avilius.
Combining the growing field sizes and improvement of track conditions, punters have shown sp,e great favouritism of Hawkesbury Race Club.
Packages for this Thursday, July 30 at Hawkesbury include:
- General entry $10
- Members area $15 (purchase on day)
- Reserve trackside seating - $20 per person - table, chairs and umbrella.
- Horizons and Blue Mountains - $80 - $165 per person - four course buffet menu, five hour beverage package, reserved seating, racecourse entry and parking, race book and tips (tables of eight-10. Prices may vary dependent on food and beverage selection).
- Ted McCabe Function Centre - $165 per person - four course buffet menu, five hour beverage package, reserved seating, racecourse entry and parking, race book and tips (tables of 10)