Day At The Track

Premier night promises to be a cracker

02:30 AM 20 May 2010 NZST
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New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club
New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club

The final premier meeting for the 2009-2010 harness racing season at Addington Raceway this tomorrow night (Friday May 21) is packed with loads of talent both on and off the track.

This night not only has a terrific eleven race card including the Group One $125,000 Wayne Francis Memorial New Zealand Oaks and the $200,000 Garrard's Sires Stakes Final but also doubles as JW Sport Rugby League Race Night.

In its 29th year, the annual league night has stood the test of time with all the clubs from the greater Canterbury area participating again in this year's 200m dash up the straight.

"It is quite remarkable when you think we started this night as a bit of a gimmick, said organizer Bill Whitehead QSM. We (Canterbury Rugby League) saw it as an opportunity to spread the Rugby league word and have been doing that every year since".

This night will also host the inaugural running of the ‘Pascoe's Ladies Let Go Racing' with over 250 booked in to be entertained on-course.

"We decided we needed a night with a difference to attract some of those one day a year (Cup day) attendees and came up with the Ladies Night concept, said Addington's Promotions man Richard Bromley. We have had terrific support from Chrissie Dalgety and Rose Dunn and the large Harness Racing community hence being able to attract the number we have in its first year. It is a sell out so should firmly establish itself as one of our marquee events each year".

As part of the entertainment for the ladies, tables will be allocated a driver to follow for the night. They will have the opportunity to meet ‘their' driver during the evening and if he is successful in any race they will get to be part of the celebrations in the Winners Circle.

The major prize on the night is a $4,500 Pascoe's Diamond ring with all attendees at the function eligible.

The night is being hosted in the Twiggers Restaurant with the after race party open to everyone from 10.00 pm.

The driver many punters will be following in the feature races is likely to be Blair Orange. He has two very good chances in both Group One events and had this to say about their chances:

"Lancome was a terrific 3rd in last week's Nevele R Fillies Final and has drawn nicely in barrier two. From there she should be able to get an economical trip which she will need in this very good company.

"One is probably not an ideal slot for Le Sol although he will hold his own off the gate. He has a couple of quick beginners drawn alongside so is likely to get crossed early but shouldn't be any further back than 3rd on the markers at very worst. In saying that in the big races the horses on the markers tend to have a great advantage so with any luck and going on last week's run he should be more than competitive".

The $25,000 Blue Jean Cuisine Winter Cup has attracted a terrific field that includes the Rangiora Classic winner Bettor's Strike and his arch rival Baileys Dream. The latter will be joined by his stable-mates Power Of Tara, Tennis Ball and Harley Earl who is fresh back from a terrific 3rd in Tintin In America's Group One Messenger.

This gives Kaiapoi's giving Brendon Hill a very strong hand in the Listed event.

Greg O'CONNOR

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