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While there is never a bad time to support charities, the Festive Season is certainly a good period to support people in need. With that in mind, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has thrown is support behind the 3BA Christmas Appeal by hosting a charity meeting on Friday, November 28. One of the most noteworthy charities in the district, the annual appeal does wonderful work in Ballarat by supporting families in need at a difficult time of the year. To help increase the drive, the club will conduct a Christmas Carnival in the middle of the racetrack throughout the evening, with a multitude of carnival rides available for everyone to enjoy. A mere gold coin is all it costs per ride, with the club generously donated 100 per cent of the income the 3BA Christmas Appeal. To enhance the carnival atmosphere, there will also be live music, roving entertainers - such as clowns, face painters, magicians and balloon artists - to keep will be keeping the crowd entertained. The ‘giant screen’ will even play cartoons between races. If that’s not enough incentive, all paying patrons will receive a $5 venue voucher to spend on food or drink throughout the racecourse as well as a buy one get, one free admission pass. The admin ticket is valid during the Christmas Carnival of Racing valid for Thursday 4th, Saturday 13th of December (Cup Night) or on Friday 26th of December. For those looking to enhance the experience, the Terrace Restaurant package includes a three-course meal, admission and a race book for $40 per person, with $5 of your ticket going to the 3BA Christmas Appeal. PAUL COURTS

With an honour roll reading like the “Who’s who” of harness racing, the Ballarat Pacing Cup can certainly boast the title as the strongest provincial feature on the calendar. Names such as Monara, Popular Alm, Gammalite, Sinbad Bay, Our Sir Vancelot, Shakamaker and Safari are just a small portion of the stars which have captured the prestigious Group One. But which winner can lay claim to being the greatest? To celebrate the Cup’s 45th anniversary, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has joined forces with Harnesslink to create arguably the ultimate challenge for harness racing devotees…select the all-time greatest Ballarat Pacing Cup winner! As part of the promotion a panel of experts has been assembled to select a Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup field, comprising the best 12 winners of Bray Raceway’s premier event. Each panellist will select their field independently and rank the horses from one to 12. A point score system has been developed to determine the final field, which will culminate with a phantom call by the voice of the industry - Dan Mielicki - at the club’s traditional Barrier Draw Breakfast on December 9 “We wanted to do something a little different, which would generate widespread interest in the lead-up to the $100,000 Group One PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup,” club chief executive Paul Rowse explained. “Our honour roll is littered with champion pacers across four decades and no doubt there will be plenty of debate around which horses should, and should not, earn their place in the fictitious field. “I certainly don’t envy our experts and wish them well as they embark what is an arduous, but very interesting, assignment.” The selection panel comprises: David Brehaut (Sports Editor, The Courier) Jason Bonnington (HRV Goodform analyst) Len Baker (Melton FM) Bill Hutchison (Retired Media Legend ) Mick McGuane (Radio Sports National) Adam Hamilton (TAB Sportsbet) Michael Guerin (New Zealand racing journalist). Members of the public also have an exciting opportunity to participate in the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup promotion, via an online competition. Entries will be accepted through the club’s Facebook page, with the person who correctly selects the most starters in the final fantasy field - including their finishing order - to receive a $1000 bet on this year’s Cup compliments of the Flying Horse Venue and hospitality on the night. The club will also present connections of the Cup winner with a ‘second’ Ballarat Cup as a memento of their star’s well-earned grand champion status. To help participants make their selections, Harnesslink will produce profiles on the Cup’s 44 winners during the three weeks leading into the December 13 showdown. “We invite everyone with an interest in the trots to get behind the fantasy cup concept and test their knowledge against our experts,” Rowse said. “It will be a lot of fun, and there’s a great prize on offer.” PAUL COURTS

The two mandatory harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday July 11, with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Ballarat at night.

Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday May 22, with Maryborough hosting the day fixture and nearby Ballarat racing at night.

Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday May 9 - Wedderburn holding the day fixture at Maryborough and Ballarat racing at night.

Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday April 24 at two of the most popular venues - Maryborough in the afternoon and Ballarat at night.

The newly reconstructed track at Bray Raceway Ballarat opened for business on Thursday evening, with the highlight being the $20,000 Laser Electrical Lightning Mile for M0 or better class, the victor being ever reliable 5-Y-0 Union Guy/Victoria Street mare Blucolla Tigerpie in a rate of 1-55.6.

If you were after a modern day renaissance then you need only to look at the harness racing results from Tabcorp Park Melton two weeks ago to see a return to form that is befitting of 15th century France.

New Zealander Mah Sish was a brilliant winner of the $150,000 (Group 1) Petstock Ballarat Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2710 metres at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Friday January 25, giving harness racing trainer Tim Butt and reinsman brother Anthony their second Ballarat Cup in a three year period, the previous being Stunin Cullen in 2011.

Mah Sish finally made good on harness racing trainer Tim Butt's thoughts about his talented pacer in tonight's (Friday January 25th) $150,000 Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup.

Jaccka Clive is a horse that has an intangible in harness racing. He has ability which many would give anything for; a talented gelding who has won more than his fair share of races, and good races at that.

If the temperature in Victoria hasn't been hot enough lately, things are about to heat up even more over the next few days with a whopping fourteen New Zealand trained harness racing horses set to do battle over the weekend.

The Decron Horse Care Australian Trotting Championship heats will make up two of the races on the PETstock Ballarat Cup harness racing card and lead on to a Group 1 final the following week.

The Kiwis may have drawn just about as bad as they possibly could have in Friday's (January 25) Ballarat Cup, but unfortunately, we can't blame a rigged Australian system as the harness racing field was drawn manually.

The Rocknroll Hanover colt Yankee Rockstar became the fastest harness racing two-year-old in Australia this season when he scored effortlessly on debut at Ballarat on Wednesday night (January 16).

The New Year has kicked off in sensational fashion. In 10 minutes of unparalleled harness racing television, across two states, Smoken Up fended off Caribbean Blaster (Globe Derby) and Sushi Sushi was enormous in defeating Mah Sish and Auckland Reactor (Bendigo). A sign of the great racing to come.

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