The Bush Battlers Cup and Diggers Cup meet has proved one of the most popular events on the local racing calendar and it is shaping up nicely for 2022.
A whopping 31 horses have been nominated for the top event - the $19,000 1400m Bush Battler's Cup - while all races, except one, have received nominations exceeding the field limits.
The Don Bartlett Memorial Bush Battlers Cup originally was for horses based in the North West who have run in the region's once-a-year events.
"The Bundarra, Bingara, Barraba and those sort of race days," Inverell Jockey Club vice-president Mike Witherden said.
"But because of the Covid and weather disruptions to those one day meetings in the last couple of years, the conditions have changed."
The requirements for this Saturday's entry have waived the local rule and put in place a condition which gives preference to horses with a benchmark between 38 and 50. But the local club plans on having the criteria re-instated.
"If they get going again next year than the criteria will return to be for the horses that have participated at the one day meetings in the North West," Witherden said.
"The one day ones have always struggled, none the big stables have worried about the one day meetings."
The Diggers Cup is run over 1800m and has 11 horses nominated.
"The history of the Diggers' Cup, originally there was a separate race club, the returned servicemen had a Diggers Race club and they ran their own meeting at Inverell but it was run by their club," Witherden said.
"That fell by the wayside, probably 60 years ago, but this Digger's Cup has been continued on.
"There is a nice perpetual trophy that has been presented since World War II basically."
While there have been plenty of race meets around the state cancelled due to flooding, Inverell is likely to go ahead.
At the time of publishing, the track is rated a soft 6 with more dry weather forecast.
Saturday is also set to be a big social event with fashions on the field and various businesses holding their Christmas parties.
The final fields won't be published until after the Times is sent to press.
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