The Cowra Jockey Club will honour the late Tony Hodder at its meeting on Saturday.
Jockey Club president Peter Ford said this week the club had chosen to name one of the races The Tony Hodder Memorial in memory of the former jockey who passed away after a long battle with ill health last month.
A natural lightweight Hodder rode with success around the central west for a number of years but his real value to the racing industry, particularly in Cowra, was realised as a competent trackwork rider after his retirement from race riding.
He provided many years of service to a number of local stables and had a long association with the Molloy stables of "Brother" and Andrew Molloy.
Saturday's non-TAB race day, which will allow a crowd of up to 500 people to attend, is a good opportunity for race goers who are keen to kick off the shackles and enjoy a day of grass roots country racing.
A number of Cowra businesses have already organised tents for the day to hold early Christmas celebrations.
"Covid restrictions are still in place, but there is plenty of space, the bar is open, and bookies will be on course, so we are ready for a crowd," Ford said.
"I would be happy to get 500 at our cup meeting, let alone this meeting, but we have had a lot of interest already.
"We have got two local businesses having their Christmas party, and they did the same thing last year and it is a good chance for anyone to catch up with their mates for Christmas."
"The track is in very good condition, we have spent a lot of time on the track and there has been no shortage of rain.
"Barry Wall, our track manager, is very particular and spends a lot of time on the track and it is a credit to him and his work."
Cowra interest at the meeting centres around the Andrew Molloy trained Shiny Agent and the George Hoy conditioned Rhythmo.
Shiny Agent resumes from a spell for Molloy in the day's first event at its first start for more than 12 months.
A last start third at Grenfell in September last year over 1000 metres, Shiny Agent has had just the four starts.
A son of Zariz, which races in similar interests to Molloy's former Cowra idol Zarhron, Shiny Agent has drawn well in the three barrier and might just be forward enough to sneak the win.
In the same race first starter Tiger King was second in a recent trial for Bathurst trainer Paul Theobold and will be ridden at its debut by Ken Dunbar, who was on top for the trial.
Cowra's other representative at the meeting, Rhythmo, steps out for the first time for new trainer George Hoy,
Owned jointly by Hoy and Railway Hotel publicans Kate Alberry and Ian Whitty, Rhythmo was formerly trained by David Smith at Mudgee and beat only four runners home in its three starts last campaign before being purchased by its current owners.
He finished his previous preparation with a win in a 1350 metre maiden at this meeting last year.
Parkes trainer Sharon Jeffries will take advantage of the 2kg claim for apprentice Liam Blanch with Bella Chica in the Tony Hodder Memorial.
Drawn awkwardly in barrier eight Bella Chica was a last start third over 1220 metres at Dubbo with Blanch in the saddle and looks well placed on Saturday.
Canberra trainers, Joe Cleary, Frank Cleary, Garry Kirkup, Doug Gorrell, Luke Pepper could dominate the meeting as they look to hold a strong hand with their stables represented by good chances in all five of the programmed events.
Racing starts at 2pm with the Tony Hodder Memorial the third event on the five race program. Bookmakers will be on course operating on the TAB meetings.