THE ever-popular Ag Races look set to overcome a clash with a number of major sporting events and again prove a spectacular success.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) anticipate around 5000 racegoers will make their way to the annual raceday on Saturday.
That is despite it falling on the same day as grand finals for the Farrer and Hume Leagues, Wagga Netball Association and Wagga Hockey Association.
It is arguably the busiest day on the Wagga sporting calendar but that has not stopped pre-sale ticket purchases from going through the roof.
“It looks like it will be a huge crowd,” MTC chief executive Scott Sanbrook said.
“All the pre-sales are pointing towards a huge crowd. There could be in the vicinity of 5000 racegoers.
“It will be our second biggest day of the year and we’re rapt with the interest that’s been shown.”
Online ticket sales show the MTC that racegoers are travelling from as far as Tasmania to Queensland to attend Saturday’s race meeting.
The Ag Races is MTC’s fastest growing race meeting.
“Ticket sales indicate people are coming from all over Australia,” Sanbrook said.
“They are coming from far and wide and that just goes to show that the raceday’s reputation is certainly growing each year.”
Sanbrook said the clash of sporting events is not ideal. While there is still going to be a bumper crowd at MTC, he said it could be even bigger if not for the busy nature of the sporting schedule on Saturday.
“I would be surprised if it doesn’t have an effect on the crowd, however I do think it will be minimal,” he said.
“Ideally, we don’t want to clash with anyone but that’s not the way it panned out this year.”
On the racing front, a six-race TAB card will be held.
There is no shortage of class in the Rivcoll-Aggies Flying (1000m) where Wagga Town Plate fourth placegetter Man of Peace will look to return to form after a couple of indifferent runs to begin this preparation.
Experienced Canberra-based jockey Simon Miller will reunite with Man Of Peace, who has only beaten one runner home in his first two runs back this campaign.
Man Of Peace will carry 62 kilograms, as will Lazyaxl, who resumes from a freshen up for the Trevor Sutherland stable.
The other feature is the William Farrer Hotel 2017 Aggies Cup, a Benchmark 49 Handicap over 1600m.
Sutherland’s last-start winner Pay The Ones will be a major player, as will Canberra visitor Money Ad and Zarina’s Gold.
“There should be some really good racing,” Sanbrook said.