Day At The Track

Lang in support of standing-start races

09:00 PM 23 Apr 2019 NZST
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Leading reinsman Gavin Lang and Franco Tristan
Leading reinsman Gavin Lang threw his support behind standing-start races after winning the Easter Cup on Franco Tristan at Mowbray on Saturday night.
Photo Scott Gelston

Premier reinsman Gavin Lang came out in support of standing-start races after winning the Easter Cup at Mowbray on Saturday night.

Lang said he would like to see them reintroduced in Victoria where there have been no standing starts for pacers since the start of the 2017-18 season.

"I believe there is still a place for them, especially at this level where you are dealing with readymade racehorses," the trainer-driver said.

Harness Racing Victoria made its contentious decision to scrap stands after an extensive review of the format from both a wagering and an image perspective.

"On both counts, the board has viewed standing start races as harmful to the viability of the industry," chief executive John Anderson said at the time.

Prominent media commentator Adam Hamilton supported the decision, saying "standing starts have served the sport well through history but have passed their use-by date."

There's been no suggestion, not in public anyway, that Tasracing has ever considered following suit.

Opinions will always be divided but standing starts still have a strong body of support among diehard harness racing followers.

Punters know the risks involved when they bet on stands.

So the only real problem is their potential to seriously delay the start of races which can lead to them being 'flicked' by Sky Channel.

But plenty of mobile races run late as well, as was the case on Saturday night for some reason.

Although Franco Tristan was Lang's fifth Easter Cup winner, it was the first time he's won it from a standing start.

Franco Tiger, Northern Brewer, Here Comes David and Jonells Son all won when it was a mobile free-for-all.


By Greg Mansfield

Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

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