It looks as though the Victorian Summer of Glory Carnival is going to be lots of fun for harness racing trainer/driver Darren Hancock. The astute horseman has seven-year-old gelding On Thunder Road absolutely flying and tonight they combined to give nothing else a chance in the E.B. Cochran Trotters Cup at Ballarat. The son of Bettor's Delight – a sire better known for his pacing production prowess – worked to the front early in the 2200-metre Group 2 feature and always travelled well, producing a superb performance to break the track record – a 1:58.2 mile rate – to defeat gun mares High Gait (Chris Alford) and Glenferrie Burn (Todd Matthews) in second and third placings. Next up it’s a Group 1 double for On Thunder Road, Hancock hoping his stable star will prove the boss in the Group 1 Haras Des Trotteurs Dullard Cup next Saturday at Tabcorp Park Melton on night one of the Summer of Glory, and then the big dance – the $300,000 Group 1 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star on A.G. Hunter Cup night a week later. “He went to the line good. I’m happy with him and he’s got plenty still in the tank,” Hancock said post-race. “It was a good run. He’s only had a couple of runs in the last month and they’ve been spaced out, so he hadn’t run for a little while. This will be a nice blowout for the other races ahead.” Hancock looked confident in the run and for good reason. “Yeah, he’s a pretty hard horse to get past. He’s pretty tough,” Hancock said. As for his Great Southern Star chances, Hancock is feeling good. “We left him at home last year because he was still learning a bit; he’s starting to step up now,” he said. Meanwhile, star New Zealand trotter and reigning Great Southern Star champion Speeding Spur has been nominated for this year’s GSS but a final decision on him coming will be dependent on how he pulls up after his next assignment in NZ on Thursday. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Champion pacer Lazarus may find himself in an unusual position tomorrow and it could be his own stablemate who puts him there. The wonder horse is rated a $1.35 chance to win the A$120,000 Ballarat Cup tomorrow night, his first stop on a five-race Australian campaign. Lazarus has raced only once in two months, winning effortlessly at Cambridge, but pleased trainer-driver Mark Purdon with a bristling workout in windy conditions on Wednesday. "I didn't work him as hard as I intended because of the wind but he feels sharper and getting back to his best," said Purdon. The stocky 4-year-old has taken time to trim down and sharpen up after a 10-day layoff after his stupendous Cup week antics in Christchurch but is heading in the right direction quickly now. His biggest problem tomorrow night is being drawn wide over the 2710m mobile, a race in which one of the two other favourites, stablemate Smolda or local hero Lennytheshark, look certain to lead. "I realise he will probably have to sit parked to win," admits Purdon. "Even if Smolda leads we have to give him his best chance to win so at best we would probably be parked. "I think he can win sitting parked, but it won't be easy." When you have a reputation as big as Lazarus you don't often have to sit parked because many of your rivals get out of your way and he led in all three of his open-class wins up to and including the New Zealand Cup. But he did have to sit parked outside a flying Christen Me in the NZ Free-For-All and still got the job done so he should again tomorrow, with maybe Smolda the horse he will have to wear down late. The clash is the centrepiece of a huge night for New Zealand harness talent across the Tasman, with Have Faith In Me returning in a sprint race he should win on his way to the Hunter Cup. Piccadilly Princess has a good draw in an M1 race, while Kiwi trotters Prince Fearless and Daryl Boko contest the A$30,000 Cochrane Cup, with Purdon believing Prince Fearless is still on the way up. At Menangle, Our Waikiki Beach looks to get his winning groove back against flying local Salty Robyn in a prelude to the Chariots of Fire. Michael Guerin Reprinted with the permission of the NZ Herald
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing on Saturday of long-time industry stalwart Brian Frawley, at age 82. Mr Frawley is the father of recently appointed HRV Board Member Danny Frawley. He enjoyed considerable success as a trainer, including multiple Moonee Valley winners Noble Man, Evarestis and Grumpy Ole Man, as well as other classy performers in Lahaina and Noble Gent. Mr Frawley served on the Committee of the Ballarat & District Trotting Club for in excess of 35 years, leading the club as President from 1981 to 1986 and being awarded Life Membership in 1988. His greatest moment in the sport came when Vanderport, a horse he part-owned, ran 2nd to Village Kid in the 1986 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Albion Park in Queensland, when driven by his daughter Anne. READ THE BALLARAT COURIER'S TRIBUTE TO BRIAN FRAWLEY HRV extends its sincere condolences to his wife Shirley, their six children and the extended Frawley family. Mr Frawley’s funeral will be held at 10.30am on Wednesday at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Sturt Street, Ballarat. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
The big names in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old colts and geldings trotters' division have drawn the front row and are en route to a formiddable showdown in next Friday night's harness racing final. At Tabcorp Park Melton on the Super Series semi-final night for pacers, the trotters' barrier draw saw Deltasun claim the pole mark and Illawong Byron draw barrier six, giving a relatively direct route into their next big showdown. Fillies heat winners Yankee Redback (barrier two) and Illawong Shimmer (barrier five) also both drew the first row. Illawong Byron’s standing was only reaffirmed at last Tuesday night's heats at Ballarat when the two-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush dominated and won by 41.6m. Showing gate speed from barrier six, the result was never in doubt for Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan. “I am very happy with him,” Quinlan said. “I was a little disappointed that he overraced, but he has always shown above average ability and I couldn’t be happier with him on that score, he is a classy animal.” Quinlan partly attributed Illawong Byron’s overracing to the gelding coming to the end of a very impressive campaign. “He is still quite green. He is a fairly reliable two-year-old trotter, but he probably overraces and in an ideal world he would probably go to the paddock, but he has a few important races to run yet,” she said. The other colts and geldings heat was won by Deltasun (Tennotrump/Deltasu), a $1.04 favourite who took the honours by 14.6m for Ararat trainer Terry Young and Bacchus Marsh driver Gavin Lang. “There’s no doubt the horse to beat is Deltasun and the barrier will be important," Quinlan said. "But (Illawong Byron) is a good, versatile horse and can also run well from behind.” While it could be argued the colts and geldings shapes as a two-horse race, the two-year-old fillies presents as much more open. Ross Sugars’ Illawong Shimmer (Muscle Mass/Shining Sun) was impressive in leading and winning the first heat by 3.4m from Maree and John Caldow’s hope Valsue. But heat two proved more open, particularly once Anton Golino’s $1.60 favourite Sval Queen broke in the running. Yankee Redback, the only horse in hobby trainer Michael Scandolera’s Kilmore stable, took advantage, with driver Michael Bellman drawing her off leader Kyvalley Kyrie’s back to win by 7.7m. “She had a lot of luck. I thought she was about the third or fourth best horse in the race, but the others galloped and she didn’t,” Scandolera said. “She has beautiful manners. She’s just a natural. “When we broke her in she had a lot of fire, and still has a lot of fire. She’s a very intelligent horse and I let her do her own thing.” Scandolera said if things fell Yankee Redback’s way in the final she could take advantage. “She goes away very quick and very safely, and if she leads she can make her own race, but if she doesn’t and has to go back she can still go all right.” Barrier draws: Two-year-old colts and geldings 1: Deltasun 2: Prosthesis 3: Bootleg Bert 4: Kheiron 5: Me Pat Malone (emg) 6: Illawong Byron 7: Endsin A Party 8: Needabacardi 9: Aldebaran Pirate 10: Carnera 11: Just Oscar 12: Red Rustler (ODM) Two-year-old fillies 1: White House Sweet 2: Yankee Redback 3: Ten Spanners 4: Watts Up Rainbow 5: Illawong Shimmer 6: Star In Sight 7: Downtown Miss 8: Kyvalley Kyrie 9: Derrie Aire 10: Midnightpinevale (ODM) 11: Myrniong Rainbow (ODM) 12: Betty Hall (ODM) 13: Valsue (ODM)
Ballarat and District Trotting Club (BDTC) will launch the Summer Festival of Harness Racing this Friday (December 18). The festival will be run over five trots meetings at Bray Raceway, highlighted by the Group 1 $120,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup on Saturday, January 23. BDTC Chief Executive Officer Paul Rowse said the festival would be family focused. Rowse said summer was a premium time for the trots in Victoria. The Group 3, $30,000 Laser Electrical Lightning Mile on Boxing Night will be the other feature race of the festival. The Summer Festival will also lead into Harness Racing Victoria’s TAB.com.au Summer of Glory, with the Good Form Victoria Cup (January 30) and the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup (February 6). The festival will also incorporate race meetings at Bray Raceway on Friday January 8 and Friday January 29. Rowse said a major focus of the festival was to provide holiday entertainment for the family and attract newcomers to the trots. “We want to make this a special experience for all," he said. Rowse said there would be various giveaways and special activities throughout the carnival, including sand castle building for children on the Boxing Day night, which will also be “family night”, an “equine experience” for a behind-the-scenes look at the trots on January 8 and a “big Aussie BBQ” as part of the Beach Party on January 29. Rowse said there would also be a special incentive for racegoers to attend the opening three meetings of the Summer Festival. He said any adults attending two of these race nights would get 50 per cent off general admission to the annual Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting. Rowse those who took advantage of this offer would also go into a special draw on Cup Night for an ultimate summer prize pack worth $5000. There will also be special family admission discounts for the “Beach Party” on January 29. The CEO said industry participants would not miss out either, with a leading driver and trainer Summer Festival premiership to be calculated over the five meetings. Ballarat & District Trotting Club’s “SUMMER FESTIVAL OF RACING” FRIDAY DECEMBER 18 – FESTIVAL LAUNCH SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26 – FESTIVAL NIGHT Free kids rides, icy poles & face painting Pony trots Feature Races Group 3 $30,000 Laser Electrical Lightning Mile & VHRSC Snowball Series FRIDAY, JANUARY 8 – UP CLOSE EQUINE EXPERIENCE Shoeing & harnessing demonstration Harness Heroes-meet the former stars of the track Become an owner for the night SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 – CUP NIGHT Group 1 $120,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup $5,000 Summer package giveaway draw $1,000 Trots Selfie Promotion Free kids rides & face painting FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – BEACH PARTY “Beach Party” theme with Big Aussie Sausage Sizzle Sand castle building & thong throwing competition FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 Presentation of “Summer Festival Of Racing” awards Paul O'Donnell Marketing & Business Development Related Links Fields for Ballarat, Friday 18 December 2015 Form guide for Ballarat, Friday 18 December 2015
Harness racing enthusiasts on both sides of the Tasman couldn't wait for the showdown this evening at Ballarat in a Breeder's Crown semi-final between the star Australian two year old filly Heavens Trend and her brilliant New Zealand counterpart, Dream About Me. Heavens Trend, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven drew the coveted barrier one over the 2200 metres while the daughter of Bettor's Delight, Dream About Me drew awkwardly at barrier three on the second line. The first surprise was at the start where Heavens Trend was beaten for early speed. Gavin Lang had her quickly off the markers and let her work her way to the front after 500 metres. Mark Purdon meanwhile had maneuvered Dream About Me through the traffic and slotted onto the back of Heavens Trend early and then got cover from Jilliby Jitterbug when that filly came around to sit outside of Heaven's Trend. Passing the 400 metres mark, Gavin Lang said go and Heavens Trend put a wee gap between her and the opposition with Mark Purdon coming in to it three wide with Dream About Me. We looked set up for a tight finish when all of a sudden Heavens Trend veered sideways with 120 metres to go and lost all momentum and any winning chance. It was very reminiscent of her run at Albion Park two starts ago where she did exactly the same thing. Dream About Me swept on bye with minimal urging from Mark Purdon and went on for a comfortable win from a smart finisher in the Shadow Play filly Zibibbo who was one of the rank outsiders in the field at $139 to one while the Bettor's Delight filly Soho Madeleine made ground late for third. Dream About Me paced the 2200 metres in 2:40.7, a mile rate of 1:57.6 with smart closing sectionals of 55.8 and 27.4. Dream About Me is now unbeaten in seven lifetime starts and took her stake earnings to $229,632. Regardless of where she draws in the final, Dream About Me is now the filly they all have to beat. Harnesslink Media
What an exciting conveyance four year old Artistic Fella/Marilyn Macray gelding Macterra Lad is - chalking up his 8th harness racing victory in only 13 outings by taking the Dimension Homes Pace for C5 & C6 class over 1710 metres at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Tuesday. Bred by former Harness Breeders (Vic) Secretary Ian Kitchin, Macterra Lad trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs for Mount Gambier owner Michael McQuade and driven by daughter Amy Tubbs has developed into the ultimate racehorse after being so green in the early part of his career. Starting from the pole, Macterra Lad showed plenty of speed as the mobile gate sped away, leading easily and from there on, the race became a procession. Kicking clear halfway up the running, Macterra Lad scored virtually untouched by 3.5 metres over Crazy Dave (gate two) which trailed, with No Bettertime (four wide home turn from last) 1.5 metres away in third place. The mile rate 1-56.4 (last half 56.6 – quarter 27.7. Macterra Lad should have no difficulty in going through the grades and is Cup class material. Consistent five year old Blissful Hall/Childers Elite gelding Masterofthurles finally cracked it for a win when successful in the Creswick RSL Light Horse Troop Pace for C1 class over 1710 metres. Trained in the Western District at Childers Cove by Ange McDowall, Masterofthurles driven by Matty Craven settled three back in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with Ducale Bromac (gate four) leading. Moving forward three wide in the final circuit, Masterofthurles was inconvenienced on straightening when Royal Icing after coming off the back of the leader ran all over the place like a drunken sailor, however after regaining his composure, Masterofthurles out wide scored by a half head in a tricky finish from pole marker DoyouseewhatIsee along the markers from three back the inside. Khaleesi finish third from mid-field in the running line. The mile rate 1-56.1. Lightly raced, Masterofthurles registered his second victory in 23 race appearances and first since February last year at Stawell. The McDowall’s are related to the all conquering Craven family. When Shelbourne (Bendigo) trainer Larry Eastman’s team hit their straps they are worth following and Village Jolt/Sunrose Mary gelding Sunrose Village broke his maiden status at start number four when greeting the judge in the T J Coutts Electrical 3-Y-0 Pace over 2200 metres, much to the delight of Nyah owner/breeder Robert Dacey. Driven by Chris Alford, Sunrose Village led from gate three and was never out of second gear, coasting to the wire 3.1 metres in advance of Regal Ambition (three wide last lap from last) in a mile rate of 2-00.3. Chirpy Chuckles which followed the winner from the pole finished third. Huntly (Bendigo) trainer/driver Anthony Crossland’s in-form Love You/Sun Goddess four year old gelding Dieu De Lamour snared the G & D Air Conditioning and Mechanical Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2200 metres. Enjoying a sweet one/one passage after being crossed from the pole, Dieu De Lamour sprinted sharply to lead on the home turn, defying all challengers to gain the day by 1.3 metres from Alabamas Invasion (three back the markers) and Girls Go First (one/three) in a mile rate of 2-03.2. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria Click here to read the Vicbred heats wrap from last night
Jodi Quinlan produced a stellar drive and My Kiwi Mate did his bit with a scintillating run to take out the Colin and Heather Holloway 3YO Classic tonight Friday 22nd of May at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. The Craig Demmler-trained former New Zealand pacer went within 0.6 seconds of the track record held by Smoken Up and Abettorpunt over the mile, the three-year-old's winning time a brilliant 1:53.7. The tempo was breakneck early, Show Me The Bling challenging Jilliby Royal hard for the front and eventually finding it. But the early burn would prove detrimental to both the pacesetters, a 26.8secs first quarter setting things up for the backmarkers. The leader was able to ease the pace between the 1200-800m, clocking 30.6secs for the second split before the foot went down again up the back stretch (28.4secs third quarter). Victoria Derby winner and race favourite Menin Gate stalked the leaders before running to the front at the 600m for driver Chris Alford. Padrisimo and Kate Gath looked a chance off the back, looming up on the outside of Menin Gate and working into second before the fresh horse on the scene, My Kiwi Mate, peeled around three-wide to stake his claim. In the straight My Kiwi Mate chased down Menin Gate, the son of Bettors Delight/Classic Nymph sprinting home in 27.9secs to win by a short half-head. Jilliby Royal lifted himself off the canvas to run third, beaten 6m, a valiant performance, while filly Morton Plains hit the line hard for fourth and Padrisimo was close-up behind her in fifth. Show Me The Bling weakened out of the money to run sixth while Mister Wickham wasn’t himself and came in tailed off. Double for Team Tubbs Father/daughter team Alan and Amy Tubbs combined for a winning double at Ballarat. Impressive three-year-old Million Dollar Cam/Im Making Waves gelding Milliondollar Wave took out the Active Electrical Collingwood & Morwell Pace over 2200m in 1:58.1, holding off Starzzz Of Icon and Gavin Lang by 6.5m with a 21m margin back to Thanknbonnie in third. Team Tubbs backed it up in Race 7, the Nextra Wendouree Newsagency Pace over 1710m, four-year-old Artistic Fella/Marilyn Macray gelding Macterra Lad explosive in the straight to take the prize. From the wide alley Amy Tubbs took the gelding back to last early. Turning for home Macterra Lad was eased to the outside and once he hit top gear there was no stopping him, the $2.70 race second-favourite overpowering Citysneak (Glen Craven) and Hes Just Rusty (Kate Gath) for a head win in 1:57.4 (last quarter 28.2secs). Other winners were Lifes Tough (So Thats Life / Illawong Lily) for Brooke Sadler in the Active Electrical Bendigo & Moorabbin Pace Final in a rate of 1:57.4, Yeah Right (Whatagain / Belles N Roses) for Laura Crossland and David Moran in the Active Electrical Thomastown & Bayswater Claiming Pace in 1:58.8 over 2200m, Paris Pepperell (Armbro Variable / Pepperell Mistal) for David Van Ryn and Haydon Gray in the Gullock Plumbing Trot over 2200m in a rate of 2:02.2, Keayang Starzzz (Four Starzzz Shark / Sayaka) in the 2200m Active Electrical Distributors Pace in 2:01.2 for Marg Lee and Jason Lee, Jilliby Jagger (Grinfromeartoear / Jilliby Ruby) for Glen Craven in the P.F.D. Food Services Pace over 2200m in 1:57.9, and Vapar Grin (Grinfromeartoear / Armbro Affair) in the Active Electrical Geelong & Shepparton Pace over 1710m in 1:56.1 for Ashleigh Herbertson and Matthew Craven. VIDEO: Re-live the 2015 Colin and Heather Holloway 3YO Classic by Cody Winnell
Brent Lilley, who dominated Saturday night's Great Southern Star harness racing program at Melton, enjoyed another big night tonight with a winning double at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. The Bolinda trainer won Races 1 and 5, combining with gun driver Anthony Butt for the pair. Flying McPocket rated 1:58.6 over 2200 metres in the Flying Horse Bistro Pace, the four-year-old McArdle / Fleets Pocket mare scoring by 2.5m over Wingofwaves at juicy odds of $11.90. Polemarker Jilliby Diablo and Greg Sugars had sufficient gate speed to hold out an early challenge from Mister McKinnon (gate five) and Michael Sullivan, the latter able to jag on to the leader’s back for the box-seat trip. Flying McPocket settled third-last in the running line as they negotiated the first 600m in 43.5. The $1.30 favourite, Our Petite Soeur, was in the breeze from virtually the get-go for Gavin Lang from gate three. Opening quarters of 30.9 and 30.4 made for a 61.3 first half, the leaders getting their chance. A 28.3 third quarter was clocked as the favourite made its move, moving up to eyeball the leader at the home turn. But when Lang asked the punter’s fancy for her maximum effort she failed to offer much resistance, Flying McPocket sprouting wings out wide. Flying McPocket showed a tremendous burst to win (last half-mile 57.2), with Wingofwaves also finding the line strongly down the outside in second place. Mister McKinnon ran third with Jilliby Diablo fourth and Our Pete Soeur fifth. The second leg of Lilley’s double came in the fifth race, Sazzasophie saluting in the Heinz and Partners 3YO Pace over 2200m in 2:01.7. The filly by Art Major from I Izz Sassy came out of gate two and was able to angle on to the back of early leader Bella Sainz (the $3.10 favourite) for a slipstream after about 100m. With Zac Phillips in the cart Bella Sainz paced the first half in 64.2, Michelle Wight aboard the death-seating Ithappensinvegas content to let her runner amble along without putting too much pressure on the pacemaker to the 500m, before trying to take closer order when Siliqua (David Murphy) made his advance three-wide-no-cover. Upping the ante through a 29.6 third quarter, Bella Sainz tried to skip clear at the top of the stretch but wasn’t able to, the inside run appearing for Sazzasophie as Ithappensinvegas worked to a narrow lead, the Lilley filly too strong in the last 50m for a 2.2m win. Ithappensinvegas showed character to dead-heat for second from the breeze at big odds, with Ears No Trouble (John Caldow) the other runner-up. Ross Creek trainer Stephen Clarke won Race 2, the T J Coutts Electrical Trotters Handicap with five-year-old Bacardi Lindy / Downsouth Rose gelding William John in a rate of 2:03.4 for the 2200m stand-start trip. Emma Stewart combined with Amanda Turnbull for victory with Starburst Girl in the R U Advertising Pace, the Art Major / Celebrity Ball filly rating 1:54.8 for the 1710m journey to beat Lucky VC by 1.9m. Debutant Time Keepa Lombo produced a peach of a debut for trainer/driver David Miles to salute in the Newington Physiotherapy 2YO Vicbred Pace, the colt by Lombo Pocket Watch out of Lady Muluka Lombo overcoming a couple of checks in running for a half-neck win over Undercover Don in 1:58.9 from the ace draw over 1710m. Zac Phillips drove Uroc Mman to a 1.7m victory as $2.80 favourite in the National Tiles Pace over 2200m, the five-year-old by Mach Three out of Executive Lady rating 1:59.4 from barrier nine. David Lewis-trained American Ideal / Atomic Fusion entire The Fat Man showed again that he’s got top-class potential with a 5.1m win over Dentona in the MDS Accounting Pace over 2200m. John Caldow drove The Fat Man to victory in a rate of 1:57.7, leading from start to finish after coming out of the two-gate. The other highly rated horse in the field, Clark Griswold, came in fourth for reinsman Matthew Craven after working to the breeze in the middle stages from the second line. And Chris Svanosio trained-and-driven four-year-old Majestic Son / Steffi Jay trotter Majestic Ess Jay won the Cantebury International Trot to close the program in a rate of 2:04.7. >> Check out all the Ballarat results and video replays by Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria will commit an additional $10,000 prizemoney to Ballarat and District Trotting Club’s Boxing Day fast class race to help the club secure a quality field. In a bonus for the club, star pacer Beautide has been touted as a likely starter, with chief executive Paul Rowse stating trainer Emma Stewart has indicated she will have some horses in the race. Following the disappointment of the club’s Pacing Cup being decimated by late scratchings last weekend, HRV has worked closely with the club to make sure the Boxing Day meeting a not-to-be-missed event. Along with bolstering stake money for the C7 or Better race to $16,505, patrons can enjoy free entry, a host of trackside entertainment, including children’s activities and live music, and a special two-for-one dining offer in the Terrace Restaurant. “We want to see a huge crowd there supporting the local club. Paul Rowse and his team work extremely hard. They’re one of the best country clubs in Victoria and hopefully the patrons who left feeling disappointed on Ballarat Cup night can turn out and have a great night at the trots,” HRV’s Brett Boyd said. Rowse declared it was important the industry won back the trust of patrons who left Bray Raceway feeling flat after the Pacing Cup night fiasco. “Harness racing people are resilient people, but what I’m sure of is we’ll have a big crowd on Boxing Night,” Rowse said. "HRV have been fantastic and we've been working closely with the marketing team there to help ensure the Boxing Night meeting is a big success. “It’ll be great if we can attract some of the stars of the summer which didn’t end up competing in the Cup. “Beautide was obviously taken out of the field during the week and it’d be great to see him come to Ballarat and compete in front of a big crowd.” HRV Media
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.