Local race-writer George Manning reflects on the Broome Cup Carnival crowds ‘simply wanted to keep going’
It's all over for another year.
But from the size of the crowds who flocked to the Broome Turf Club for Ladies' Day and the Broome Cup meeting last weekend, you gained the impression that the record crowds simply wanted the racing season to continue.
And one of the reasons for the record crowds it seems, was the bright idea of pre-selling tickets for the Cup meeting, which saw unprecedented queues at the track on the Friday.
The racing was action-packed.
Tight finishes — a good share of favourites saluting the judge — the occasional outsider getting up to reward a lucky punter with a big payout.
We also witnessed the end of an era, with 'Cups King' jockey Peter Hall, hanging up his saddle after the running of the Broome Cup.
In an illustrious career which saw him win seven Broome cups, let alone three Perth Cups and most of the other country cups in WA, the Broome Turf Club awarded him with life membership of the Club.
Over the two days of racing, the Sean/Jake Casey stable trained four winners, Bonnie Palise rode four winners and took out the Leading Jockey award.
The Farrell yard produced three winners, and Jockeys Jerry Noske and Angela Johnson rode winning trebles.
The leading trainer of the year was again Darryn Pateman, the leading horse was Desert Thorn from Jim Enright's stable by a narrow margin from the Peter Farrell-trained Slick Unit.
However, the race that tops the season — the Broome Cup, was really what it was all about, and it did not disappoint.
A record field of seventeen appeared in the book.
Fourteen took their place at the top of the straight, and when the starter let them go, on time, there was a huge roar from the record crowd.
The favourite did not let its backers down.
Staaden, from the Rob Gulberti stable had made the trip to Port Hedland a fortnight earlier to win the coveted Pilbara silverware, and the stable adopted similar tactics in the Broome Cup.
Perth hoop, Shaun McGruddy again had the horse up on the pace, with the twelve year old Corporate Larrikin leading the chase.
Staaden swept to the lead as they turned for home, with Stafford's Lad coming home to fill third placing.
A jubilant group of owners accepted the trophy to add to the cup they won in 2015, when Gulberti trained Desert Glow for them.
After the racing, a big crowd stayed on to party hard and share in the afterglow of a perfect day.
So, it's amen until next year.
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