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Moree Chopper Cup race times brought forward to beat the heat on Saturday

RACE times for Moree Race Club’s all-important Pacific National Chopper Cup race-day on Saturday have been brought forward to ensure the safety of horses and jockeys on a day where the temperature is forecast to reach 39 degrees.

After consultation with Hunter and North West Racing chief steward Shane Cullen, MRC officials opted to move the five-race card forward by one-and-a-half hours.

Race one will now jump at 12.30pm, with the card completed by 4pm.

“With Saturday’s temperature revised from the mid-30s that was predicted about a week ago to 40-plus, it is imperative that the well-being of the horses and jockeys is considered,” club secretary Michelle Gobbert said.

“The decision to do this won’t impact greatly on the rest of the plans for race-day.

“The gate will still open at 12pm and there will be a Fashions on the Field competition with great prizes donated by Beauty Matters,” she said.

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Jockey Darren Jones and Moree trainer Peter Sinclair again team up with a good book at Moree on Saturday (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

“Normally, it’s a coat and tie affair for the men, but given the forecast it might be a day for dress shorts and for the ladies, some great hats to keep the sun off.

The this week received 33 nominations for the meeting, including six for the 1400m Pacific National Westpac Rescue Helicopter Chopper Cup.

Moree trainer Peter Sinclair, who won last year’s edition with topline galloper Free Billy, will saddle up perennial place-getter Arawak (61kg), a recent third in the Bingara Cup behind Moree-owned-trained gelding Double Eagle, a last-start sixth at Walcha.

Double Eagle, trained at Moree by Peter Blanch and owned by Ray Tighe, meets Arawak 2kg better for beating him more than two lengths at Bingara.

Sinclair has also nominated Montague Clan (950m Moree Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Class 2 Handicap, stable newcomer Lockout and Zoffany Miss, owned by MRC president Rob Mather, in the 950m Qantaslink Maiden Plate.

Top Tamworth hoop Darren Jones will bypass the Coonabarabran meeting to ride for the Sinclair stable.

The Pacific National Chopper Cup will be the last race programmed, with an on-course calcutta programmed.

“The aim of the weekend is to raise money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, and the club encourages everyone to come along and enjoy a great day’s racing,” Gobbert said.

For more information,  contact Michelle on 0428 644581.