Day At The Track

Victoria to strengthen Friday, Saturday meets

06:00 PM 02 Jun 2020 NZST
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The Orange Agent,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

As Victorian harness racing prepares for the return of metropolitan and feature racing from July 1, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will increase stakemoney at Friday and Saturday meetings on June 19-20 and 26-27.

The idea is designed to thank participants for their support of the regional setup, which has been in place since early April, and prepare punters for a return to metro racing.

“At the Shepparton meetings on Friday June 19 and 26 and the Melton meetings on Saturday June 20 and 27 we’ll have a ‘metro style’ card,” HRV General Manager of Racing Stephen Bell said.

“We’ll have over $100,000 in stakemoney up for grabs at each of those four meetings – so $400,000 in stakemoney across the four programs.

“We will be programming three $20,000 races on each of those cards, which will help to stimulate the active horse population as we look to roll out of the regions on July 1.”

Meanwhile, Victoria’s time-honoured Mares’ Triple Crown will this year be recognised officially with HRV naming the series in honour of a long-time industry stalwart.

The Elizabeth Clarke Mares’ Triple Crown will launch with the Make Mine Cullen Pace on August 22, before continuing with the Angelique Club Pace on August 29, and culminating with the $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific on September 5.

And should a mare this year complete the Elizabeth Clarke Mares’ Triple Crown by winning all three races, as The Orange Agent did in 2017, a bonus of $20,000 will be paid to winning connections.

A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the mare which accumulates the most points throughout the three-race series.

The announcement comes as HRV today unveiled its feature race program for July and August.

“We’re pleased to be able to announce the features for July and August and within the next fortnight we’ll unveil the remainder of the Victorian feature race calendar,” HRV General Manager of Racing Stephen Bell said.

“I’m aware there are questions regarding the popular Redwood Classic day. I can confirm that event will be rescheduled to a later date this year, but all will be revealed in coming days.”

HRV Chairman Dale Monteith acknowledged the “outstanding” contribution Elizabeth Clarke (pictured) has made to harness racing in Victoria.

“Elizabeth has given a lifetime of service to this industry and we’re pleased to unveil the Elizabeth Clarke Mares’ Triple Crown,” Mr Monteith said.

“Elizabeth was a fantastic HRV Board member with a strong focus on corporate governance principles, financial management and integrity functions. As I have stated previously her empathy for the participants and business acumen was second to none.”

Among other roles, Clarke has served on the HRV Integrity Council, the Harness Racing Advisory Council, the Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board and the Terang Harness Racing Club.

 

HRV - Cody Winnell

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