The Boxing Day races at the Bowraville racetrack will feature the Nambucca Valley Phillip Hughes Memorial Cup in honour of the Test cricketer who often was seen attending the race meeting as he caught up with friends and family.
The Boxing Day races at the Bowraville racetrack will feature the Nambucca Valley Phillip Hughes Memorial Cup in honour of the Test cricketer who often was seen attending the race meeting as he caught up with friends and family. AP PHOTO/RICK RYCROFT

Hughes to have Boxing Day race at Bowraville named after him

THE Boxing Day race meeting at Bowraville was a favourite haunt of the late Phillip Hughes whenever he was back home for Christmas.

It gave him an opportunity to talk about Test cricket, rugby league and his cattle while checking out the girls and having a few beers with mates.

Phillip's tragic passing prompted Nambucca River Jockey Club to seek out a way to remember the most celebrated punter the Bowraville track has seen in recent years and after only the slightest hesitation, December 26 was chosen as the day.

"I approached Racing NSW to upgrade the races to SKY 2 meeting and chief executive Peter V'landys was most helpful and agreed to the proposal," race club secretary Greg Doolan said.

"Peter then approached Sky Racing who agreed to put memorial race on the main channel at 3.08pm.

"The race will be called the Nambucca Valley Phillip Hughes Memorial Cup, an open class race over 1000m.

"Phillip always attended on Boxing Day to catch up with mates and have a cold one.

"Kookaburra agreed to provide a perpetual trophy and a replica for the winning owners of the race, so we're just about right to go."

With races at Ballina and Wauchope the same day, the club is appealing to Coffs Harbour trainers and jockeys for support.

"The Cup will be worth $15,000 with all other races $8000," Doolan added.

"This day is always known for expat reunions and Phillip's football mates from Bowraville Tigers, Macksville Sea Eagles and Nambucca Roosters will be sure to come along in big numbers as they always do. We'd love players from the other clubs to support the day and give it a carnival atmosphere."



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