MARONG Racing Club is readying for its popular once-a-year Cup meeting this Saturday at Bendigo racecourse.
This year’s meeting will celebrate the Year of the Dog with a Chinese New Year theme.
It will feature a Chinese dragon with dancers roaming around the course.
The meeting is the sole meeting each year for the Marong club, with all profits donated back to local Bendigo Catholic primary schools.
Club president Stuart Smith said the club aimed to raise over $40,000 on Saturday.
Whilst much interest will centre on the $25,000 Phil Palma Ford Marong Cup (2020m), another popular contest will be the Schools Challenge Race, where the four-legged equine athletes are replaced by local primary school children in a 200-metre Chinese-themed relay down the home straight.
On-course, horse number eight in each race will carry a special ‘Lucky 8’ Chinese saddlecloth.
A massive array of children’s rides and activities will again be positioned on the lush lawns of the Bendigo racecourse and patrons will also be entertained with live music.
Smith said the club had been fortunate to secure $15,000 in state government funding to support the day.
“For many years this day has provided the local community with an outstanding family event whilst also directly contributing over $500,000 to local schools over the last 12 years,” he said.
“The funding afforded to us will help us to build this event and consequently grow the returns we provide to the local community.”
Meanwhile, the club has been inundated with nominations for its Cup meeting.
The club has received 47 nominations for the Cup and 234 across the seven-race program.