CITY racing comes to the Mornington Peninsula for Neds Mornington Cup Day this Saturday 20 March.
It is one of the most stunning days trackside you’ll ever experience on the Peninsula. From the rolling front lawn, to the deck with Winning Post views or three-course dining, there is a space and an experience for everyone.
For a relaxed day on the lawn, set yourself up trackside with the Squealing Pig Spritz Bar dedicated to keeping you hydrated across the day and an array of food trucks with a selection of snacks and meals to keep your hunger pangs at bay. There’s a DJ playing music between races, ample shade and a big screen to witness all the racing action unfold. Bring your picnic blanket and the family and enjoy a day out with us.
The racing will have your heart pumping all day with an exciting nine races on the card. The feature of the day, the $350,000 Neds Mornington Cup (2400m) is your chance to see who gets the first golden ticket into the 2021 Caulfield Cup, with the winner gaining ballot exemption into the October race.
There’s also two relatively new races on the program, the Mornington Guineas (1600m) for three-year-olds and Mornington Sires (1500m) for juveniles, the latter featuring two subsequent Group 1 placegetters in Glenfiddich and Amish Boy last year, as well as the trusty Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m).
Stars of the turf looking likely to start in the Neds Mornington Cup include Angel Of Truth, Wolfe, Dadoozdart, Nonconformist, Mahamedeis and Irish Flame, the latter trained by popular local trainer Brett Scott who is recovering from severe injuries after being kicked by a horse at the family’s training property earlier this month. Brett’s wife Kylie and daughter Tylah are both running the stable and a hometown Cup victory for their star Irish Flame would be an emotional win for all connections.
Mornington Cup Ambassador and recent two-time Group 1 winning trainer, Sam Freedman has Steel Prince primed for the Neds Mornington Cup. The Geelong Cup winner was left stranded without a place in last year’s Caulfield Cup on his way to the Melbourne Cup.
Father-son training duo Anthony and Sam Freedman are riding high on their recent Blue Diamond success with Artorius and Australian Cup victory with Homesman and they will look to make a certainty of Steel Prince’s place in this year’s Caulfield Cup by winning their hometown Cup. His raucous ownership group, who were overjoyed when securing their Melbourne Cup golden ticket by winning the 2019 Andrew Ramsden at Flemington, would provide similar scenes if they could do the same for Caulfield’s feature via the Mornington Cup.
The duo also top the leaderboard for the inaugural Les Obriem Medal, named after the late Mornington icon and trackwork clocker who passed away in 2019. Obriem made a great contribution to Mornington Racecourse and loved recalling the deeds of local trainers. The annual award named in his honour aims to continue to showcase Mornington’s racing industry and its passionate participants.
Supported by Musk Creek Farm and Racetrack Veterinary Services, the Les Obriem Medal will see an engraved analogue stopwatch awarded to the trainer who has accumulated the most points throughout the year. The stopwatch pays homage to Obriem’s legacy and provides a tangible reminder of his dedication and contribution to Victorian racing.
The winner at season’s end will also walk away with a $5,000 credit to utilise when purchasing a Musk Creek Farm horse at auction.
Tickets for the Neds Mornington Cup on Saturday 20 March are available via mrc.racing.com or can be purchased at the gate on the day. Gather your group, bring your picnic blanket and head to the track for great racing, winning vibes and a stunning setting for a day well spent.