TAB status for Avoca Christmas theme races

AVOCA will have a rare TAB race meeting on Saturday.

The fixture was originally designated as non-TAB.

Avoca Shire Turf Club has been given full TAB status as part of a program by Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria to expand TAB coverage.

Club manager Kate Kirkpatrick said the upgrade was being treated as a one-off, and performance indicators would determine whether Avoca has future TAB meetings.

She said it was exciting for the club and the Avoca community, with the TAB status meaning the meeting would get national exposure on Sky Channel.

“It’s great for the region,” she said.

The club has programmed six races, with a benchmark64, 1300m, the main race.

Marco Polo from the Patrick Payne stable is top weight with 60.5kg, and Shysta from the in-form Warrnambool stable of Aaron Purcell and Smooth General on 60kg are among the 32 nominations.

Avoca Shire Turf Club has adopted a Christmas theme for the day, with the ‘Gold Antler Cup’ an off-course feature.

The ‘Gold Antler Cup’ will be run in the mid-afternoon on the home turn, with teams of five competing.

Seven teams have pre-registered, allowing room for only three more teams to join in. 

Teams will be gradually eliminated from a series of games including a Christmas relay, Santa’s gumboot toss, Santa-sack races, a giant bonbon tug-of-war and, finally, a game of Christmas wreath quoits. 

Teams will be able to register on the day.

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