Muswellbrook Race Club ready to host traditional Bengalla Cup Day meeting at Skellatar Park

Muswellbrook Race Club general manager Duane Dowell
Muswellbrook Race Club general manager Duane Dowell

MUSWELLBROOK Race Club general manager Duane Dowell is delighted everything's "shaping up well" for the annual Bengalla Cup Day this weekend.

And, as long as the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions remain, the organisation will host its traditional meeting at Skellatar Park on Sunday, August 2, with up to 500 people permitted to attend.

"It's terrific the general public is allowed back to the racecourse, with limitations," he said.

"Strict controls will be in place to ensure the safety of our patrons and participants.

"I can't stress this enough - people can come to the race club in confidence, with the racing industry being the benchmark for COVID-19 protocols for public events.

"We have spacious grounds to ensure good social distancing and our record-keeping of all people who attend will be electronic, with everyone required to provide their contact details.

"I also encourage racegoers to purchase general admission tickets on our website (

"The nominations are looking good, the track's in great shape - it should be a fantastic day."

The Bengalla Mining Company has been a long-term sponsor, which now exceeds a quarter of a century, of the Muswellbrook Race Club.

Before it was known as the Bengalla Cup, the feature race each year was called the Olympic Rings Handicap.

The name then changed to the Bengalla Cup and has remained a prominent fixture on the Muswellbrook Race Club calendar ever since.

"Bengalla is an amazing supporter of our club and I really value the partnership we share," Dowell said.

"The $32,000 Bengalla Cup, over 1280m, is always a competitive race and often throws up a progressive horse that can train on into the spring.

"Last year's winner was the Richard Litt-trained Handfast.

"But, I must say, we have a good crop of promising horse coming through.

"After more than nearly 80mm of recent rain, the track is likely to be soft to heavy.

"However, the forecast for fine sunny weather gives a great option for people to venture out to enjoy a great day's racing."

More information about Bengalla Cup Day including the COVID-19 restrictions and ticket sales can be found at