17 October 2023

Challenge issued for Cape York horse owners ahead of Melbourne Cup day

| Matt Nicholls
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The beach races at Punsand Bay have become a highlight on Melbourne Cup day and a new race has been created this year to attract visiting horses.

HORSE owners in the Cape are being encouraged to make the trip to Punsand Bay for Melbourne Cup day as the iconic camp ground prepares for its major event of the year.

And while Flemington boasts the race that stops a nation, hundreds will be glued to the iconic Cape York beach on the first Tuesday in November for the traditional sprint races.

“It’s getting bigger every year and we’re building a reputation that has people coming up from all over the Far North,” said owner Rod Colquhoun, who runs the race day.

“All of our accommodation and camp sites are booked out, which is crazy when you consider that the tourist season is over.

“Melbourne Cup day is mostly for locals and we have heaps coming up from Weipa.”

To boost numbers in the beach races, a new race has been launched this year.

The Punsand Invitational Race will be a 250-metre dash. Only eight spots are available and a Calcutta will be staged on the day.

“There will be $1000 up for grabs to the winner as well,” Colquhoun said.

Contact Cape York Camping at Punsand Bay for more information.

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