THE annual Bet365 Ararat Gold Cup will this year honour a local war hero with an inaugural Jericho Cup qualifier.
The Ararat Turf Club has been flat chat preparing the Ararat Racecourse for the Sunday meeting, when it will introduce its first long distance race, which will also be one of three feature races for the day. The race will be 3800 metres long.
"It's named in partnership with the Ararat RSL and is named after a local war hero, Sir Brudenell White," club manager Penny Penfold said.
Sir Brudenell White was a hero of Gallipoli and World War One who is buried at Buangor after dying in an aircraft crash in 1940.
"It will be really interesting to see on Sunday how many horses accept for this race, because there are not that many horses that can go that distance and train for that," Penfold said.
"The longest races are usually about 2000 metres, so this is a distance race.
"That's something new and exciting we're trying this year."
Nominations will be released around mid-morning on Thursday so organisers could not offer any tips, but Penfold did say the event was always well supported by the region's trainers.
The excitement will kick off Sunday at the Ararat Racecourse from 11am and organisers encouraged the community to get along and support the club.
Penfold said preparations were coming along "very well."
"It's something the club plans for all year," she said.
Fortunately, the recent erratic weather has worked in the club's favour.
"Leading into the meeting we've had sporadic rainfall which helps with keeping moisture within the track," Penfold said. "The irrigating has started later this year which is good. Fortunately I think the weather on Sunday is going to be one of the best days this week."
Event manager Kate Kirkpatrick said there would be plenty happening throughout the day.
"Fashions on the Field will see over $4000 in prizes, we've got Lady of the Day as well," she said.
"We've got plenty on offer for the kids and families to come out, plenty of food vendors and a few new ones as well."
The club is hoping for similar numbers to last year, which reached about the 2000 mark.
"Come out and see us," Kirkpatrick said.
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