The date for the Ballina Cup has changed.
The date for the Ballina Cup has changed. Kate O'Neill

Why the Ballina Cup won't be held next month

BALLINA Cup will not be held in September this year - the event date has been moved to January.

Ballina Jockey Club general manager Matthew Bertram said Ballina's race of the year will now be held on Friday January 17, 2020.

Mr Bertram said after careful consideration, and in consultation with Racing NSW, the Board of the Ballina Jockey Club made a decision to relocate the Ballina Cup from September to January this season and on a permanent basis.

"Given the 2018 Ballina Cup was washed out, this created an opportunity for the club to run a smaller summer version of the Ballina Cup in January 2019 and the success of that event and a subsequent review of our race dates created the opportunity to consider a move to summer on a more permanent basis," Mr Matthew Bertram said.

"With the incorporation of the new date falling within the summer/school holidays we feel that this creates an amazing opportunity for more locals and tourists to participate in the festivities and when Racing NSW moved our showcase meeting to Friday January 17 the opportunity looked the perfect fit."

Running the Ballina Cup in summer is not a new idea and from its inaugural running in 1914 through to 1973 it was always part of the Christmas/ summer Carnival.

In 1974 it was moved to September where it had remained ever since.

Mr Bertram said the loss of the part day public holiday and other factors had reduced the Cup day in size and scope.

He said this change back to a January fixture was designed at maximising the growth of the Ballina Cup and ensuring it remained "an important part of the fabric of the region for the remainder of the century".

He said there would be no change to the Cup prizemoney or distance.