By HARRY CLARKE
FORGET the nimble, silk laden jockeys and perfectly prepped thoroughbreds – punters of the Banana district are this month studying a form guide of local farmyard stock horses ahead of the town’s annual sprint race meeting.
The second annual Banana Time Trial will be held at the sport and recreation grounds on Saturday, October 30 and promises to be just as enjoyable (and quirky) as the inaugural event in 2019.
With the local race course having not hosted a “proper” meeting in decades, the Banana Sports Committee now holds a unique race day of its own, restricted to only horses and riders not currently registered on the professional circuit.
Rather than having a full field of horses in a race, the steeds will dash individually down a 200m straight. The quickest horses across two divisions will win a share in $15,000 of prize money.
“It’s open to anyone who thinks they’ve got a fast horse, but they can’t be currently running on the race track,” said Banana Sports Committee treasurer Sanae McCann.
“We’ve got plenty of local horses and riders taking part – a lot of horses that people just use for mustering and work on the farm.”
Ms McCann said Banana’s race track and sports facilities had continually been upgraded and improved over the years to become a popular venue for various local events.
“We haven’t had proper races here in Banana for 20 or 30 years and we just wanted to make use of the track,” she said.
“We wanted to put on an event that was good for the community – something people could look forward to.
“We’re hoping to have a good turnout. In 2019 there were about 1,500 people. It should be another good day this time around, something a bit different for families to enjoy.”
There’ll be the bar running, food stalls, a Fashions of the Field competition and plenty of kids entertainment.
Gates open at 11am and the sprint racing action will begin soon thereafter.
For ticket details visit the Banana Sports Committee Facebook page.