For the first time in its 141-year history, The Oakbank Racing Club is pleased to announce a major change to its current racing program.
The famous Great Eastern Steeplechase will now headline a revitalised Easter Saturday program that will include feature races such as the Oakbank Cup, the Classic Hurdle and the Oakbank Stake.
The switch will now see the Von Doussa Steeplechase, which previously took place on Easter Saturday, move to the Adelaide Hills Gourmet Gallop Race meet two weeks prior to the Easter long weekend on Sunday 18 March.
Oakbank Racing Club Chairman Barney Gask said Easter Saturday at Oakbank is a widely popular event that draws local and interstate travellers.
“Over the years, we’ve seen the Saturday crowd grow substantially, while Monday has generally not been as well patronized,” he said.
“It is not just Oakbank, but Australia wide – public holiday racing in general has proved difficult to promote and maintain when people have to return to work the following day.
“We want to really focus on reinvigorating the ‘Super Saturday’ race day, and we’re all very excited to see what we can achieve with the change.”
Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) is also supportive of the move and is confident that the new ‘Super Saturday’ will be a feature highlight on the racing calendar for many years to come.
TRSA CEO Jim Watters said that the move is encouraging for the Oakbank Racing Club.
“This will not only impact crowd attendance in a positive way, but we feel will also have a direct positive influence on the fields for both the Von Doussa and Great Eastern Steeplechases,” he said.
“In recent years, we’ve seen fewer horses starting in both feature races, which we believe is due to the minimal two-day gap between races, and with the Oakbank Carnival early in the jumping season. Moving forward, we are confident many horses will now run in both races with a more suitable two-week space between them.”
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