Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has determined that Cranbourne and Shepparton Cups winner The Gold Ace is eligible to contest the Del Re National Foods AG Hunter Cup to be held on Saturday night 1 February at Tabcorp Park Melton.
A condition of the Hunter Cup is that "a horse must have contested and began safely in a minimum of one standing start race in the 12 months prior."
In the standing start Shepparton Gold Cup on Saturday night 18 January Stewards noted that The Gold Ace broke after the start.
HRV Chairman of Stewards Neal Conder reviewed the start this morning from several camera angles and made the following determination
* The Gold Ace stepped away from the tapes safely
* Shortly after the start Im Corzin Terror shifted up the track across the line of The Gold Ace
* As a result The Gold Ace was forced to shift wide and in doing so galloped for a short distance
* The Gold Ace got back into a pace and did not inconvenience another horse
Mr Conder is satisfied that The Gold Ace fulfils the eligibility criteria for the Hunter Cup. Mr Conder said "while The Gold Ace galloped after the start, the horse did begin safely. By The Gold Ace making up the handicap to Im Corzin Terror so quickly, the shift of that horse forced driverto steer wider." Mr Conder also noted that any comparison to Smoken Up being ruled ineligible in previous years in irrelevant. Smoken Up failed to contest a standing start race, which meant he clearly did not satisfy the condition for the race.
Harness Racing Victoria