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  DOUBLE-HEADER COUNTRY CUPS WEEKEND This weekend features a  TAB.com.au Trots Country Cups Carnival double-header with Echuca on Saturday night followed by Ouyen's big day on Sunday. The weekend action kicks off tonight though at Tabcorp Park Melton with a nine-race program getting under way at 6.30pm and featuring the running of the Harness Breeders Vic Jodies Babe and the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace Final (Group 3).  Don't miss your shot at a $20,000 quaddie pool jackpot offer from the TAB tonight at Melton, with the quaddie on Races 5,6,7 and 8 and kicking off at 8.33pm.   - FEATURE OF THE WEEK - Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup 2530m standing start 1: SMO Trainer: Laura Crossland Driver: Laura Crossland Form comment: Drawn well and if he can step cleanly and hold a forward position then he could sneak a place at odds.   2: ROAD TO ROCK Trainer: Keith Cotchin Driver: John Caldow Form comment: In really good form, loves the stand-start conditions. Back to the front line should be able to step and press forward. If finds the front is a great each-way chance.   3: JUKEBOX MUSIC Trainer: Julie Douglas Driver: Glenn Douglas Form comment: Been competing in claiming grade but has a really good turn of foot when right. If he enjoys a soft peg-line run he could well be finishing off into a placing.     4: KOTARE ROLAND Trainer: Roly Wilson Driver: Neil McCallum Form comment: Enjoyed a nice run of form a few months back, but struggling to recapture that right now. This does look a little drop in class.   5: SKIPPY RASCAL Trainer: Julie Douglas Driver: Greg Sugars Form comment: Could well be the best roughie in the race. Defeated Macho Comacho three starts back when leading and handing up. If he's able to step cleanly here he could perform a similar role and finish off along the sprint lane.     6: CAM BEFORE THE STORM Trainer: Nicole Molander Driver: Chris Alford Form comment: Led and was run down in the Boort Pacing Cup last week but was only second-up. If he takes benefit from that run he'll be in the mix. Stable's in fine form.   7: MACHO COMACHO Trainer: Amanda Grieve Driver: Alex Ashwood Form comment: Super first-up after missing the start. He should be able to step more cleanly here and if that's the case you only have to go back to his form of a previous lifetime where he ran third in the Stawell and St Arnaud Cups and won the Wedderburn feature.    8: WASHMEPOCKETS Trainer: Vivian Tomren Driver: Emmett Brosnan Form comment: Honest little fella who tries his heart out every time. Another who needs a soft run to be a winning chance but if the pace is on he should be hitting the line.   9: NARRA OPERATIVE Trainer: Peter Manning Driver: Matthew Craven Form comment: Back to 10m here and didn't have a lot of luck in the Boort Cup last week. He's just the type of horse who can bob up at odds and he did win back to back cups at Wedderburn and Stawell earlier this season.   10: ARBER Trainer: Tim Bolitho Driver: Michael Bellman Form comment: Shooting for back to back wins in this race. He was last year's country cups champion who wasn't far away at Boort. But he will need to improve to make it two in a row here.   11: SMUDGE BROMAC Trainer: David Aiken Driver: Nathan Jack Form comment: Has come off a little break since contesting the Victorian Inter Dominion heat. All his form, including a fifth in the Hunter and Shepparton Cups, and a second in the Pure Steel, is a strong pointer to the sort of form he is in at the moment. Genuine winning chance.   12: WARTIME SWEETHEART Trainer: David Aiken Driver: David Aiken Form comment: If David Aiken can perform a miracle and he can sneak through along the pegs, he could possibly be the blowout chance. But he's probably not suited to coming wide in such a strong field. (Comments by Blake Redden)   $20,000 Quaddie Jackpot Have a crack at the quaddie at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight for your chance at a slice of the $20,000 jackpot thanks to the TAB. Bet at the track, online at tab.com.au, via your smart phone app or at your local TAB outlet.     WIN A $50 TAB VOUCHER Here’s your chance to win a $50 TAB Voucher. To enter, tell us who you think will win the Echuca Pacing Cup on Saturday night. All entrants that pick the winner will go into a random draw and whichever lucky entrant is drawn, wins the $50 TAB Voucher! Entries must be in by no later than 8:30pm on Saturday night March 21. One entry per person. Must be over 18 years of age to enter. Emailcompetitions@hrv.org.au with the subject WIN.  The winner will be notified via email.  

Reinsman Nathan Jack will honour the late Tiffany Murray by wearing her driving pants at Echuca Harness Racing Club’s annual Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday night. Tiffany, a popular local harness racing figure, died in 2011 after a brave battle with cancer. Jack knew Tiffany well through his good mate and Tiffany’s partner, Leigh Sutton. Sutton is also a harness racing driver and he and Tiffany have a daughter, Milla. Jack will also donate $100 per winning drive to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation – and $200 should he win the Echuca Cup – and Sutton will match it dollar for dollar. It means the organisation set up by Tiffany's neurosurgeon, Charlie Teo, will benefit $200 per winner and $400 if Jack’s horse, Smudge Bromac, can win the main event. “I knew her quite well. I was good mates with Leigh,” Jack said. “It’s definitely a cause close to my heart.” The club will also run the Tiffany Murray Memorial Pace (Race 4 at 8.03pm), with only female drivers invited to contest the event. The association between Jack and Smudge Bromac will hold him in good stead aboard the David Aiken trained entire on Saturday night. The nine-year-old pacer is in a rich vein of form, having recently contested the $400,000 Hunter Cup, finishing fifth beaten only 8.3 metres by Arden Rooney. “He’s a great little horse, you’d love to own him,” Jack said of the 31-time winner. “He’s in great form. His Yarra Glen Cup win was terrific, in the Pure Steel he sat outside Uncle Wingnut and beat him by over a metre, and in the Shepparton Cup he turned for home level with For A Reason and beat him a length. “He’ll find it a bit hard off the 20-metre (handicap) on the tight track but he’s racing really well.” The huge 10-race program at Echuca kicks off at 6.20pm with the cup to be run at 9.33pm. Loads of giveaways and entertainment will be provided, with one lucky patron winning $1000 thanks to the TAB simply by uploading their Trot Selfie to facebook.com/trotselfies. The Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup meeting is a leg of the TAB Trots Country Cups Carnival. by Cody Winnell Related Links Fields for Echuca, Saturday 21 March 2015 Form guide for Echuca, Saturday 21 March 2015

A mini tornado ripped through a storage shed at Echuca Showground (Victoria, Australia) minutes before a crowd of 1500 arrived for the annual New Year’s Day harness racing. Strong winds hit the shed at 4.55pm, blowing the roof away and sending timber and sheets of iron flying through the air. An engineer condemned the building and its roof was torn down while the meeting continued. Echuca Harness Racing Club chief executive Brad Williams said he was getting changed ahead of the meet when he heard a loud whirring noise. He walked outside to see timber and sheets of tin flying off the shed’s roof and onto the top of water tanks about 30m away. About five minutes earlier, Mr Williams had been talking with a Lions Club volunteer manning a nearby gate. ‘‘Luckily he was inside a ute when it happened. Bits of tin hit his ute and he told me if I was standing where I was five minutes earlier I would have been gone,’’ he said. The tornado struck shortly before a crowd of 1500 were due to arrive for the club’s busiest night of the year and Mr Williams was forced to consider whether to carry on with the meet. Mr Williams called Echuca’s SES unit. ‘‘Safety was paramount. It was a nervous time, because when the first race was on at 6.25pm the storm was still around,’’ he said. ‘‘I wanted to see if a tarp could be put over the top of the shed, but they quickly said that could not happen,’’ he said. A Campaspe Shire engineer condemned the building, meaning an excavator was needed to bring the shed’s roof down during the harness meeting. Mr Williams said the threat of a looming storm was in the back of everyone’s mind. ‘‘I kept one eye on the sky throughout the night. I was not comfortable until after the last race and the crowd was heading home,’’ he said. Echuca SES unit controller Dean Currey said four members and two Campaspe Shire staff had the roof down by 11.30pm on Tuesday. He said large timber trusses were used to weigh down loose tin ripped off during the storm. Mr Currey said he was concerned that reported winds of up to 70km/h would create more safety problems. ‘‘We could not leave it, we could not get into the building and the safety of everyone at the races was paramount,’’ he said. Mr Currey said SES had to contend with cars parked close to the shed during the night, as well as informing residents living opposite Echuca Showground in Simmie St. ‘‘When it first happened tin was blown about 30m away, we were concerned about the safety of those living across the road if the wind was to pick up again,’’ he said. Mr Currey said most patrons were understanding of the situation. He said a mini tornado came through an open door of the shed, blowing the roof away in a powerful gust. ‘‘It was amazing that only this shed was damaged, when there were a couple of others close by that were not touched,’’ he said. Echuca Show Society is left to count the cost of the damage. President Peter White said the society used the shed to store equipment. Mr White said the shed, an old cattle shed, had about $30,000 worth of equipment in it when the storm hit. ‘‘We had things like a mini golf course which we used as entertainment for people at the show inside,’’ he said. ‘‘We will have to wait until we get the all-clear to access the shed before we assess the damage. I am not sure what will happen with insurance. ‘‘It is disappointing for the show society.’’ Courtesy of Trent Horneman and the Riverine Herald

New Years Day racing at The Trots is set to rock at the Echuca Harness Racing Club night meeting. The night features an exciting seven race card including the Echuca Workers & Services Club 4YO Pace over 1755m, the Moama Bowling Club New Years Cup, and the Frank Ryan Memorial Pace. Off the track, the club has a huge night of entertainment planned for its lucky patrons. There will be plenty of activities for the children, with pony rides and a jumping castle.  Entry is free for patrons under the age of 18. Roving magician Mister Mike will amaze the crowd throughout the evening, and something special in terms of musical entertainment with 2013 X-Factor contestant Tyler Hudson performing during the meeting. A full bar is available, and the first race is scheduled to start at 6:27pm. If you’re in the Echuca area and looking for some first class racing action in a relaxed country atmosphere, then the Echuca Harness Racing Club waiting to meet your every need. by Lucy McCormick Harness Racing Victoria

Rochester's Mark Thompson has enjoyed a great run with his pacers, especially over the past decade or so and snared a stable double at his local track Echuca on Tuesday July 2, with Lies and Drunken Desire winning their respective races, both handled to perfection by stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey.

Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday June 5 - Horsham in the afternoon and Echuca at night.

It was Alabar Echuca Pacing Cup Night at the Murray River town of Echuca on Friday March 22, with the $25,000 harness racing feature event going the way of Great Western trainer/driver Kerryn Manning's Kiwi bred 5-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Starling gelding Our Blackbird in a rate of 2-02.6.

Smart four year old Dawn Ofa New Day/Our Madame gelding Daylight Dan resumed with an impressive victory in the Campaspe Valley Motors Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres at the Gunbower Harness Racing Club fixture held at Echuca on Tuesday December 18.

Wahring (Shepparton) trainer Daniel Jack snared the quinella in the GTS Farm Supplies Tongala Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2160 metres at the Echuca harness racing meeting held on Tuesday November 27, with four year old mares Chloe Vargarita and Charm Alarm - Chloe Vargarita being the victor.

Echuca's Thursday harness racing meeting was a mixed one for punters, with both favoured and long shot runners saluting the judge.

Popular Elmore harness racing trainer Frank Barac knocked quaddie punters for a six after winning the final leg - the Jack Hunter Memorial Pace for C4 to C6 class over 2160 metres at Frank Ryan Raceway Echuca on Tuesday May 15 with $26.10 chance Madam Altissimo who turned in a best ever performance.

The traditional New Year's night Echuca harness racing fixture attracted a large crowd at Frank Ryan Raceway to witness exciting racing all through the evening, with most winners coming from the outlying areas.

Echuca played host to the Gunbower HRC meeting held at Frank Ryan Raceway on Tuesday December 13, with keen harness racing the order of the night.

Harness racing returned to Echuca on Wednesday November 30, when a neat seven event program was held featuring the $5,000 Echuca Harness Ladies Committee Moama Trotters Cup and the $5,000 Echuca Moama Storage Moama Pacing Cup.

Glenn Douglas might have his maiden Metropolitan Trainers' Premiership all parcelled up, but the prolific Bendigo horseman is keen to gear up at least one winner at tomorrow night's (Thursday August 26) final city-class meeting of the harness racing season at Melton's Tabcorp Park.

Champion Victorian harness racing driver Chris Alford boosted his bank roll with a fabulous weekend, landing feature winners at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday, Bathurst on Saturday and Echuca on Sunday, while at the same time earning plenty of frequent flyer points.

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