The 122nd annual Yass Picnic Races are set to be held this Saturday, 25 February, at the beautiful Marchmont Racecourse.

The Yass Picnic Races were established in 1901 and are one of the oldest Picnic Race Clubs in New South Wales. 

This year’s Yass Picnic Races are gearing up to be yet another magnificent event, with President of the Yass Picnic Races Committee, Sam Longmore, excited for Saturday’s festivities and the six-race card.

“We’re looking forward to the races on Saturday. we’re just hoping the weather cooperates just over the next few days, hopefully we don’t get too much rain,” Longmore said.

“It should be really good, it’s all coming together really nicely. We’ve got some great sponsors on board as well, including Agnew Hire as our main gold sponsor along with Elders and Merriman’s. It’s shaping up to be a good day.

“There’re six races but the nominations are still to come in. Obviously, weather plays a part for the jockeys and trainers, but we’ve got a full house in the way of bookies.

“We’re packed out with marquees, tickets are selling really well and the grounds are looking great out there too. We’ve got our driveway re-done and the grass is looking pretty fab.

Horse trainer Allan Mcrae and Sam Longmore

“We’ve sold quite a few tickets into our members’ marquee which is really good. Everything is looking nice and fancy for the day. Our fashions have been taken up pretty well too. We’ve generated a fair bit of interest there with Ally Jones doing our fashions for us this year.

“They’ve got some incredible sponsorship and prizes there. Ali’s done a really good job taking that on board, just with her knowledge in fashions on the field, which was really needed, we really wanted to make something of that, which I think she’s done. She’s very exciting.”

The Merchant Campbell Fashions on the Field will have prizes for nine categories this year, including Best Dressed Lady Winner, Best Dressed Lady Runner-Up, Best Dressed Gent Winner, Best Dressed Gent Runner-Up, Best Dressed Junior Girl, Best Dressed Junior Boy, Best Dressed Local, Best Dressed Couple, and FOFT Best Millinery.

The Yass Picnic Race Club sponsor Clubhouse Hotel Yass will be providing convenient transport options on the day, with buses heading out to the course from 11-1pm and back to town from 6:30pm-9pm.

Tickets for Saturday’s picnic races are $20 online, or $25 at the gate with eftpos available.

“If you buy the tickets online you’ll get a bit of a discount. We’ll also have stubby holders up for grabs. We’ll have some food stalls there as well as Yass Rotary doing a barbeque.

“The Picnic Races are BYO. There are drinks, ice creams and slushies available for purchase too. There will be activities for the kids including the jumping castle.”

Last year’s Yass Picnic Races were unfortunately a phantom race event, with rain the night before the event grinding things to a halt. 

Yass Picnic Races 2020 Best Dressed Lady Finalists

“We had our race day cancelled because of the shower we had the night before which ruined the track. We’ve been running around like flies trying to get the track and everything looking nice. 

“So, here’s hoping the weather plays the game and we get to celebrate together with some horses this year, rather than just pretending like last year.”

Tim Warren