Day At The Track

Hats off to the Ashburton Trotting Club

05:27 PM 02 Jun 2015 NZST
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This years Harness Jewels is done and dusted for another year and the harness racing has been covered in great detail by all and sundry.

So Harnesslink thought we would review all the other aspects of the day as we saw them.

* Big kudos to Stacey Markham and her team from Harness Racing New Zealand for putting on a near flawless display of promotion and marketing for this years Harness Jewels.

It showed that it is possible to get everybody on the same page with a bit of give and take and the team should take a bow for a job well done.

*On big days like this it is not uncommon for the media room to have plenty of grizzles and moans about things but yesterday was quite the opposite.

Nothing but compliments for the Ashburton hosting club and for once the journalists were looked after in style.

Believe me it is a really stressful day for journalists and to be looked after so well made the day a lot easier for all concerned.

Lets hope that is the standard at all Harness Jewels meetings from now on.

The only quibble the media had all day was down to being denied entry with our passes to the stabling area.

Those lovely officious security people really do need to take some people management skills courses before they are registered to work in the community.

I suppose they had a job to do but it is the manner in which they do that job that needs attention.

* One thing that was spot on on the day was the track which was in fantastic condition.

A lot of the leading drivers we spoke to during the day were fulsome in their praise for what a great racing surface the track manager had delivered.

* The absence of several leading racing journalists such as Barry Lichter was disappointing in the extreme but something the industry is going to have to get more and more used to.

The Fairfax restructuring that is underway meant half the journalists there yesterday are having to reapply for their jobs at present.

Specialized racing journalists are an endangered species and the coverage we receive in the mainstream media is about to be cut severely.

It looks like only Harness Racing New Zealand and Harnesslink will be left standing when the dust settles.

* As someone who covers all the major race meetings it can get a bit repetitive at times when you are interviewing the same people again and again.

So it was really refreshing yesterday to watch the connections of Sunny Ruby after her brilliant win in the three year old Ruby.

Fred Fletcher was bouncing around like a twenty one year old and the whole extended family were in the same frame of mind.

It was a timely reminder of why people race horses.

Amanda Tomlinson reinforced that feeling later in the day with a display of emotion not often seen these days.

* Hats off to Greg O'Connor for his outstanding and impartial coverage in the leadup to and on the day of the Harness Jewels.

Greg manages to put forward his opinions without feeling the need to denigrate or ridicule some of the runners and its that professional impartiality that connects with so many in the industry.

*Finally we would like to thank all the tech guys that got us back up and running after we went down after race one.

Murphy's law to go down on the big day but with their help we got back on track late in the afternoon.

Harnesslink Media

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