Day At The Track

NSW hopes to resume this week

12:52 PM 27 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Cooper James
SPEED DEMON: Cooper James is a driver with a bright future.
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Yesnomaybeso was a good name for a horse, and it is a good way to describe NSW harness racing at present. The industry has been in suspension mode since Tuesday after an official at last Thursday's Penrith meeting tested positive to Covid-19.

The harness racing industry has been brought to a complete halt until more people from the meeting have been tested, with it obviously hoped the results come back negative.

On Friday, Harness Racing NSW will make a decision on the immediate future of racing. If the all-clear is given, it will be full on for the Inverell Harness Racing Club, which is scheduled to host the Carnival of Cups TAB meeting on Sunday afternoon.

The meeting would involve a seven-race program - with no Queensland horses in action after that state closed its borders this week.

The feature race on the Inverell program is the $10,000 Inverell Cup, which would involve four last-start winners from Tamworth's meeting last week. They are Corsini (the Graham Moons stables), Tiger Courage (the Ernie Mabbott stables), Manly Boy (trained in Dubbo by Ty Robson) and Bongiorno Boys (trained in Sawyers Gully by Stacie Elliott).

Sadly, I can report that the Narrabri Harness Racing Club has lost its non-TAB meeting on April 5. However, its Carnival of Cups TAB meeting is scheduled for April 13.

Newcastle is listed to host a meeting on Saturday night, with a few North West contenders set to race, including Narrabri pacer Kid Montana.

The State Mini Trot Championships, which were to be held at Paceway Tamworth over Easter, have been called off because of the epidemic.


ON A brighter note, the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of NSW held its championships last week in Tamworth.

This organisation rehomes ex-pacers and trains them to take part in equestrian and other activities.

Cooper James, who is a member of Tamworth Mini Trots, took part in the championships and had a great time helping Tamworth trainer Sarah Rushbrook show off her stable.

Young Cooper handled Jackeroo Shannon in the Harness Class. And judging by the smile on his face, he enjoyed collecting ribbons. Cooper also picked up second prize in best dressed contest.

There was plenty of praise for Cooper's ability. Harness racing is in his genes. His father, Brendan, is a trainer and driver at Tamworth, and his grandfather, Rod, is a trainer and driver at Newcastle. His great grandfather, Laurie James, was a secretary of Tamworth harness racing.



BATHURST harness racing folk are keeping their fingers crossed that racing resumes, as the city's big finals night is slated for Saturday. The program would include the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Bracelet Final (for three-year-old fillies), the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Tiara Final (for two-year-old fillies) and the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Chalice (for three-year-old colts and geldings).

By Julie Maughan

Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

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