$75,000 feature there for the taking as restrictions affect race field

QUIET AFTERNOON: The Lismore Cup will run without crowds during lockdown this week.
QUIET AFTERNOON: The Lismore Cup will run without crowds during lockdown this week.

The latest lockdown might have "killed" Thursday's Lismore Cup meeting but club officials are hopeful of running a good day while looking forward to coming out of the pandemic and preparing for next year.

Racing NSW is one of the only industries in the state which has continued to run as close to normal since the pandemic started in 2020.

Lismore Turf Club chairman Mark Oaten was hugely disappointed by the events which saw Lismore plunged into lockdown.

It had already been decided to run the day without crowds but the current restrictions have made it harder for trainers.

"It killed our nominations," Oaten said.

"We only had 128 nominations. Normally that would be 180 plus.

"Very disappointing. We were hoping to have some sort of crowd but that's gone now and we were hoping the pubs and clubs would have been open so people could bet on the TAB outlets."

All that has been swept away with the Covid-19 lockdown back in effect at Lismore.

It has also culled most Queensland stables from crossing the border for the Cup meeting from their Gold Coast, Brisbane and Southern Queensland stables.

While that has killed the northern interest it has opened up the $75,000 Lismore Cup (2100m).

"You have Macchina Volante and Nemingah the top rated horses," Oaten said.

"The Cup is there for the taking. If I was a trainer in Tamworth, Armidale or on the North Coast I'd be heading to Lismore."

Tamworth trainer Craig Martin won last year's Lismore Cup with Tavion Prince.

Lismore Turf Club received just 12 nominations for the 2100m Cup and 14 for the 1200m.

The club will be hoping for crowds to return for its next meeting when it hosts the Evans Head Cup on October 17.

There is another meeting set down for November 9 before finishing the year with the Christmas Cup on December 17.