Racing returns to the beautiful Mt Harding racetrack on Sunday for the Methven Trotting Club’s feature meeting of the year. And, as usual, the day is set to be a cracker.
“There will be sweepstakes and giveaways on-course but the highlight for many will be the annual Methven Punters’ Competition, which seems to be getting bigger every year,” said harness racing journalist and Methven committee member, Matt Markham.
The winner of the punters’ competition will not only claim whatever profit they make but will also win a $4,000 cash prize and a trophy with some pretty big names. Entry costs $800 per team and that includes food and beverages for four people.
“Craig 'the whale' Thompson, Phil Barber, Barry Lichter and local punting sensation Gary Eddington will be among the people competing in this year’s comp,” said Markham. “The Westview Racing Syndicate will also be back to defend its title.
“It generally generates about $40,000 of the on-course turnover, so it is quite a big event and we do our best to accommodate everyone involved. There will be two of the best tote staff working full-time in the punters’ room,” he added.
Markham, who also calls the trials at Methven, is generally a pretty good tipster when it comes to his local meeting, so who better to sort out a few winners for Harnesslink readers.
“Jason Rulz was super here at the recent workouts and I expect him to take all sorts of beating in the Methven Cup,” he advised.
“He must have given Elusive Chick nine lengths on the bend at the workouts and he still ended up running her down pretty easily in the end, so it was an impressive display. He is my bet of the day.”
Markham is also very bullish about the chances of Jacko, a first starter from the John Hay stable competing in race number six.
“He also won well at the workouts at Methven beating a horse called All Cash, which has a bit of a reputation. All Cash is also in the same race on Sunday, so they could be a good quinella.”
Markham also likes the chances of Rollin Thunder in race two and Jean Sabastien, who could offer some value in race five. “Rollin Thunder was a good fourth last start, and was another that impressed me at the workouts recently.”
Jean Sabastien, however, is a horse Markham has a bit of inside knowledge on as he is trained by his father Carl. “We definitely think he is capable of getting some money if he gets things right.”
By Mitchell Robertson