Bumper crowd expected for Great Western Cup

GREAT Western Racing Club is preparing for a bumper crowd for Saturday's Seppelt Salinger Great Western Cup.

Secretary Michael Barry said more than 2000 people were expected to attend the club's annual Australia Day weekend meeting.

"Everything's looking really good at the moment," he said.

"All our marquees have been booked out and we've had record numbers inquiring about camping.

"It looks like there's eight horses in every field except one, which is lovely."

Mr Barry said racegoers should be treated to a quality afternoon of racing, with seven races on the card.

"It's an exciting field for the cup," he said.

"These are the best fields I've seen for ages."

Eight runners will contest the $15,000 Seppelt Salinger Great Western Cup over 1850 metres.

Mr Barry said there were a number of in-form contenders.

"Spanish Vixen looks like a very good horse, plus No Fret and Mossailey with Jack Hill as jockey," he said.

"I'm tipping probably one, seven and eight, but not in that order, they've all got good form."

Among the Wimmera hopefuls will be Stawell trainers Terry and Karina O'Sullivan with It's A Laugh in race four, the 1600-metre Best's Eric Thomson Memorial Trophy, and Horsham's Simon Gebert with five-year old Kingdom of Rain in the 1850-metre Ian Kilpatrick Memorial Maiden Plate.

Mr Barry said the track was looking an absolute treat.

"The track's the best it has been ever," he said.

"We survived the 40 degree temperatures with continuous watering."

The action-packed day will also feature numerous other sources of entertainment, including cooking demonstrations, live music, children's activities and the Australia Day boat race.

"We've got Emma Dean from Masterchef doing a food demonstration before the first race and another one between races, and the Jimmy Cupples band is returning after being so well received last year," Mr Barry said.

"We've also got the boat regatta, with mixed teams of four running down the straight for $1000 in prize-money."

First place in the boat race is $1000, with cash prizes also for second, third and the best-dressed Australian boat.

Mr Barry said the first 100 children to enter the course would receive a free showbag.

After a record number of entries for fashions on the field competitions last year, Mr Barry said he was expecting fashions numbers to again be fantastic, with a number of prizes up for grabs.

Gates open at 11am. The first race is at 1.05pm and the cup is at 4.40pm.

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