Pony riders to show their skills at Warwick Farm

A pony race featuring young riders galloping up the home straight and a range of free family entertainment and food stalls are among highlights of a huge Australia Day celebration at Warwick Farm this Thursday.

Entry to the raceday is FREE with the 10 pony riders showcasing their skills in the special event at 12.20pm, ahead of the full eight-race public holiday card (gates open 11.30am) which includes the Listed $160,000 Schweppes Australia Day Cup.

The pony race builds on a hugely successful inaugural event on Australia Day last year run by Australian Turf Club in partnership with Thoroughbred Industry Careers.

The young riders will meet and gain advice from a host of Sydney's best jockeys in the mounting yard before taking their horses to the top of the Warwick Farm straight.

The race will be called by Sydney's leading racecaller, Sky Racing's Darren Flindell, and feature a pick of the yard from Sky Racing mounting yard expert Chantelle Buckley.

Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering, James Ross said the event allowed young riders and their much-loved ponies to compete in front of a big crowd and mainstream racing audiences.

"We are delighted to build on this Australia Day tradition with Thoroughbred Industry Careers to highlight the skills and the care these young riders have for their horses," Mr Ross said.

"The Australian Turf Club along with a range of racing industry participants and partners will join on the day to help highlight these budding riders of the future.

"This meeting is a popular and significant event for Warwick Farm and the local community as it grows in numbers and as racing combines with free family entertainment in the racecourse's unique surrounds."

Thoroughbred Industry Careers CEO, Lindy Maurice said: "We are very proud to be able to run a second pony race down the straight at Warwick Farm on Australia Day and very thankful to our partners Pony Club Australia for facilitating the riders and the Australian Turf Club for hosting us.

"Pony racing is a wonderful way to showcase the next generation of horse lovers to a wider audience."

Following the pony race at 12.20pm and the first race on Thursday at 1.05pm, the main race of the day the Listed $160,000 Schweppes Australia Day Cup has attracted a big field of 16 runners.

Spirit Ridge trained by Annabel Neasham and ridden by James Mcdonald has been well supported in early betting, firming from $4.20 to $3.40 favourite on TAB.

Bonny Ezra (Chris Waller and Brenton Avdulla) and Mission Phoenix (Mark Newnham and Tyler Schiller) are jointly at $6 on the second line of betting.

Full fields for the Australia Day meeting can be found here and full TAB Markets for all races here. For all racing, general and ticketing information go to including early discounts for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick.

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