Plate shift part of big club revamp

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold

In a major shake-up of the traditional Albany Racing Club calendar, major sprint feature the Fitzpatrick Plate will now be run at a separate meeting from the Albany Cup and its prize money has been lifted to $100,000 for the 2017-18 season.

As the new racing season approaches, 20 meetings have again been scheduled in the Great Southern between the ARC and the Mt Barker Turf Club, while 10 fixtures have been set down for the Albany Harness Racing Club.

The biggest change surrounds the Fitzpatrick Plate which will now be run on Sunday, February 11 as part of Ladies’ Day, moving away from the traditional Easter Sunday meeting at which it has been held previously.

The $100,000 Albany Cup will be run on Sunday, April 1, while the club again has the popular Boxing Day meeting on December 26.

Five of the Albany meetings will be on Fridays this season and four will be Sunday fixtures, while the sole Saturday card will be on January 13.

The ARC has announced its new manager, with Jack Young taking the reins this week ahead of the new season, which starts at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Sunday, November 19.

Young comes to the role with a wealth of racing experience, having been a racing officer and senior judge at Racing and Wagering WA for the past 31/2 years.

Before that he worked in media and vision for Perth Racing.

The 24-year-old said he was eager to get the new season started, with a range of improvements to the club in progress.

“All races will broadcast in HD for the first time,” Young said.

“We will also have 600m sectional times.

“There is a new deck being built out the front of the existing clubrooms, and obviously the Fitzpatrick Plate will be worth $100,000 and fit in nicely with other provincial sprint races in the autumn.

“I’m really excited.

“I’ve been part of the club for a long part of my life and hopefully can help improve Albany racing and bring it to the level of some of the other provincial clubs.”

The MBTC will hold six meetings this season, highlighted by the Mungrup Stud Sprint meeting on Sunday, January 21, and the Mt Barker Cup on Sunday, March 18.

In total, 12 of the 20 meetings in the Great Southern will be mid-week fixtures.

Meanwhile, the AHRC has secured 10 meetings for its trotting season, which begins on Friday, December 22, and wraps up on March 9.

Seven of the AHRC’s fixtures will be held on Friday nights and the popular New Year’s Eve meeting is again on the calendar.

Great Southern Racing 2017-18

Albany Racing Club

Sunday, November 19

Friday, December 1

Friday, December 22

Tuesday, December 26

Sunday, January 7

Saturday, January 13

Thursday, February 1

Sunday, February 11

Friday, March 9

Sunday, April 1

Thursday, April 12

Thursday, April 26

Friday, May 4

Friday, May 11

Mt Barker Turf Club

Sunday, November 5

Thursday, December 7

Sunday, December 21

Thursday, February 22

Thursday, March 1

Sunday, March 18

Albany Harness Racing Club

Friday, December 22

Sunday, December 31

Saturday, January 6

Saturday, January 20

Friday, January 26

Friday, February 2

Friday, February 16

Friday, February 23

Friday, March 2

Friday, March 9

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