Day At The Track

Veranjee ready to claim 'Hometown' Cup

01:09 AM 20 Nov 2009 NZDT
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i1160441176.jpg Greg Sugars
Cranbourne Harness Racing Club
Greg Sugars
Photo by Simon Evans

With a record of 14 career starts at his 'home' track', Cranbourne, for an impressive harness racing strike rate of six wins and six seconds it would only be fitting that Narre Warren trained six-year-old Veranjee reach a career zenith by winning the Decron Horse Care Cranbourne Pacing Cup for octogenarian trainer Arthur Fullwood on Saturday November 28.

Veranjee was an impressive winner at harness racing's headquarters at Tabcorp Park Melton in October prior to two luckless runs at his past two outings in the Maryborough Cup and Rothacker Medal Night Pace on Saturday night.

Both Fullwood, who is a sprightly octogenarian,-and regular driver Greg Sugars will be hoping the advantage of familiarity will assist their gifted gelding in overcoming his recent run of misfortune to take out the $60,000 feature race.

If successful, the son of Artsplace-and-a-winner of 16 races and over $120,000 in prizemoney will join an elite group of champions including Gammalite, Golden Reign (twice) and Tailamade Lombo to triumph in one of the most coveted Country Cups of the season.

The Cranbourne Cup is the sixth leg of the Choice Hotels Country Cup Carnival and with five separate winners from the first five contested Cups, victory at the Cranbourne racing complex could usher Veranjee or one of his rivals to the head of the rankings in the prestigious series.

Amongst those rivals could be two of Veranjee's recent conquerors in Karlsruhe and Mister Grizzly, whilst the rejuvenated Victoria Derby winner Tanabi Bromac may also target the race.

The 45th running of the Decron Horse Care Cranbourne Cup will be the highlight of a bumper nine race program which also features the $30,000 Group 2 Majestic Son Cranbourne Trotters Cup.

COMEBACK KID VIVA LA FEVER TO AMBUSH CRANBOURNE CUP

This year's running of the Group 2 Majestic Son Cranbourne Trotters Cup has been buoyed by news that last season's impressive Sky Channel Dullard Cup champion Viva La Fever has earmarked the race for his first start in almost twelve months.

After fracturing a near-side pastern at the conclusion of his latest campaign the nine-year-old son of Village Jasper had screws inserted into the troublesome leg and has been given time to properly heal and regain fitness before his planned return to the race track at Cranbourne on their marquee night, Saturday November 28.

It is welcome news for the race, which in its short history has provided an honour roll that includes several of the best squaregaiters to campaign in recent years. Sammy Do Good, A Touch of Flair and reigning dual Victorian trotter of the year Sundons Gift have taken out Cranbourne's leading race for trotters and whoever walks away with the title this year will have thoroughly deserved it.

Likely to join Viva La Fever in the field for the 2009 edition of the race is Victorian trotter of the year and reigning Inter Dominion champion Sundons Gift, along with quality combatants Ronerail, In Pursuit and La Mosca.

The Majestic Son Cranbourne Trotters Cup is the lead race on the undercard to support the running of the 45th Decron Horse Care Cranbourne Pacing Cup. Gates open at 5pm and the first race will be run at 6.30pm.

CRANBOURNE SET TO CROWN NEW CHAMPIONS

The Cranbourne Harness Racing Club are hosting one of the genuine highlights of the Choice Hotels Country Cups Carnival on November 28, with the 45th running of their time honoured feature, the Group 2 $60,000 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup.

The sixth leg of the prestigious Carnival will be contested in front of a bumper crowd at the picturesque Cranbourne track, with 1,600 group hospitality bookings already confirmed and many more patrons expected to be drawn to the course by virtue of both a quality race meeting and an endless supply of entertainment for all ages.

Highlighting this entertainment will be the return in 2009 of a monster on course carnival. Organised by the Cranbourne Harness Club in conjunction with Wittingslow Amusements, the carnival will feature mini dodgem cars as well as an inflatable slide, rock climbing wall, jumping castle and more, all free of charge.

Patrons will also be able to purchase rides on major attractions including the ‘Pirate Ship', Break Dance, Dodgem Cars and Bungy Tramps.

For the little ones and the young at heart, face painting will also be available free of charge, as will showbags for the first 200 children under 13 to go through the gates, so get there early!

And for those looking for a special family night out Club President David Scott is strongly encouraging people to make use of the vast lawn areas surrounding the track by bringing along a picnic basket and enjoying a great night of equine entertainment with dinner beneath the stars.

The club is also excited to be catering for harness racing's ‘future champions' in the form of pony trots throughout the evening, which are sure to prove both fun and fascinating.

The real racing won't be too bad either! With Sundons Gift expected to make his long awaited return to racing in the Group 2 Majestic Son Cranbourne Trotters Cup, the lead race of a magnificent undercard to compliment what should be a cracking field to contest the feature, next Saturday night is certain to be a night for champions at the Cranbourne Racing Complex.

In a boost for owners and trainers all supporting races will also carry a $1,500 bonus for runners who meet the bonus criteria, an exciting initiative jointly funded by the Cranbourne Club, HROA and MHRC. Just another reason to get involved.

Admission to Cranbourne's marquee night of the season is $12, with kids under 18 free if accompanied by an adult. The first race of the night is scheduled for 6.30pm, but with those showbags going like hotcakes, all are encouraged to arrive soon after gates swing open at 5.00pm.

David SCOTT

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