PHOTO FINISH: Tivenden flies ahead of Navillus Rested as they cross the line on the final run of the 2017 Monto Races.
PHOTO FINISH: Tivenden flies ahead of Navillus Rested as they cross the line on the final run of the 2017 Monto Races. Jack Lawrie

Monto racing enters tenth decade

IF you were to add up the years Kerri Williams and Arnie Dingle have been involved with Monto Race Club, they would add up almost exactly to how long the club has been racing.

This will be the club's 91st year, giving you an idea of how much institutional memory is stored within these two servants of country racing.

"Onwards and upwards,” Mrs Williams said of this year's event, to be held on Saturday, March 30 with five local races.

Country racing is "far, far ahead” of city racing, in Mrs William's opinion.

"Everyone comes together and has a great day out.”

She has been around long enough to remember when there were six races per year, but now there is just the one, she said there is no excuse not to enjoy the spectacle.

"It makes it a bigger day,” she said.

"It's our only chance to get out and support country racing.”

One of the most important parts of racing is, of course, dressing up, and this year not only will Monto Races be hosting their own "Fashions on the Field”, but also the fourth and final round of "Best of the Burnett Fashions.”

Mr Dingle, who began as a jockey when he was 15 and has performed essentially every other role at the club in the decades since then, currently its patron, said the races are a "great social day.”

Patron Arnie Dingle in 2017.
Patron Arnie Dingle in 2017. Jack Lawrie

"You don't have to be wrapped in racing to enjoy a day at the races because there are so many other things (to enjoy),” he said.

Mr Dingle said it was an important day for the community as it is an opportunity for many local groups to fundraise, such as the CWA, hospital auxiliary and schools.

"No one is paid, everyone is a volunteer,” he said.

Is Mr Dingle a betting man?

Not ordinarily, he said, but he will occasionally have a punt "if the day is right.”


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