Day At The Track
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Hamilton harness racing officials are hoping the 1660-metre sprint trip mile rate record is obliterated on Sunday as the club hosts the inaugural $14,000 Glenn Miles Memorial Mile. Under sunny skies with a warm lead-in to the action looking guaranteed, the club is confident the track will be cherry ripe for a Miles Memorial Mile runner to smash My Harmony Blue’s 1:52.0 flat record mile rate. “One day, who knows, they might break 1:50.0 here,” club manager Chrissy Hawker said. “What I’m certain of is they’ll all be trying for that, that’s for sure. We’re predicting fans will be treated to a fast and furious race, faster than Hamilton has ever seen.” The club’s newest feature race is expected to draw some of the fastest up-and-coming metro performers to the south-west 1000-metre track to contest a race that pays homage to a passionate local trots man in the late Glenn Miles, who sadly passed away last August. “We’ve been keen to explore a new sprint feature for a while now and I must thank Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) for being so open-minded to the idea and helping us with the programming,” Hamilton HRC Manager Chrissy Hawker said. “We’ve got the fastest track in Victoria and Mick Turner and his team do a fantastic job of turning out a tiptop racing surface every time we race. They’ll have it in great order this Sunday. “Milesy, who we’ve named the race after, was a great bloke. He was very community minded, heavily involved in local sport and he just loved his harness racing.” The inaugural Glenn Miles Memorial Mile is a C5 or better race restricted to horses with a metropolitan assessment no faster than M2. It will be the feature event on the Hamilton card this Sunday and the club is hoping the meeting develops into an annual celebration. “We’re not afraid to try new things and hopefully the community turns out in droves to witness potentially the most exciting race the club’s ever seen,” Hawker said. “What a great opportunity this is for trainers to chase a brilliant lifetime mark next to their horse’s name and the $14k prizemoney on offer. It’ll be great to watch. “We’ve got a hot week ahead but Sunday’s looking perfect at 33 degrees. We’ll have the bar stocked, plenty of activities and food options for families. It’s just a wonderful day out and you won’t be disappointed.”   Cody Winnell for Trots Media

When Regal Pepperell began badly in today’s Porthaul Hamilton Trotters Cup the mare’s supporters wouldn’t have known how much a blessing it would end up. “It’s very lucky she bungled the start, which put me three-back,” harness racing winning driver Anne-Maree Conroy said. “I was thinking I’d be behind the leader, and if I’d been behind the leader I think the leader would have stopped and I wouldn’t have got out in time. I just got out in time because of the luck of being three-back, so it worked out well.” Regal Pepperell rated 2:03.7 in winning today’s squaregaiting feature event at Hamilton on Cup Day, defeating Crown Dream (Neil McCallum) by 3.7 metres after the pair engaged in a stirring duel.  Last year’s Trotters Cup winner El Paco finished third beaten 28.4m for Taleah McMullen. Trained by Conroy’s husband, Michael Barby, today’s win meant plenty for the tightknit team. Conroy’s father, trots legend Bob Conroy, passed away tragically last month. “This was special,” Anne-Maree said post-race today. “I’m very thrilled. Sometimes I think Dad’s giving me a bit of a push.” Bred by Geoff Hood, Regal Pepperell is one of six winners out of mare Special Code from seven at the races. “She’s the last one out of Special Code for Geoff,” Anne-Maree said. “She’s always had a rocky gait, which has seen her lose races and lose races on protest because she trots rough, but Mick’s been trying lots of different things. “The last start (a win at Geelong) was the best she’s ever trotted. She’s gone one better today and won a big race. Hopefully fingers crossed he might have sorted her out.” Race favourite My Skypocket finished in fourth place after losing about 50m at the start. The first four over the line spaced the remainder, with Super Zeck fifth (107.9m behind the winner) winning what basically became a race within the race, beating home Mister Oz, Mister Gunsen and the resuming local Irish Whisper.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

A monster weekend awaits that could reshape the lucrative Trots Country Cups Championship, with Shepparton and Hamilton harness racing clubs taking their moment in the spotlight. While championship leaders Shadow Sax and Messini pursuit Group 1 acclaim across the border in the $100,000 South Australian Cup, quality runners will attempt to score valuable championship in this weekend’s Victorian cups double-header. The Mathews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup has presented an even field with Keayang Kallisto, Keep On Rocking, Bad Billy, Berisari and It Is Billy in single figures with TAB.com.au amid a Sunday race card that also features a keenly contested Porthaul Hamilton Trotters Cup. But before the dust is disturbed at Hamilton some of the summer’s most promising pacers will battle for the $50,000 Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup, which takes centre stage at 9.20pm on Saturday. Among that number is San Carlo, fresh from his breakthrough Inter Dominion heat win, dual Tasmanian cups winner Major Secret and trainer Sonya Smith’s promising pacer Moonrock. The latter made a bold play for the PETstock Bendigo Pacing Cup lead last Saturday, challenging Ideal For Real before driver Anthony Butt had to relent and then struggled for a run in the dying stages. “On paper it looked as though we might get to the front, we had a crack and it wasn’t to be,” Butt told the Trots Talk radio show. “Ideal For Real raced outside his normal pattern and he wanted to hold the front too. That’s racing and we’ll turn the page and get on with it.” Moonrock has drawn gate seven for Saturday night’s Shepparton Cup and Butt said they would use the front line draw to stay ahead of major back row threats. “With the two good ones, San Carlo and Major Secret, drawn the second row, we’ll try and keep ahead of them and go from there,” Butt said. “(San Carlo’s) a great horse, one of the up and comers and raced really well in the Inter Dominion in Perth so he’s obviously the class horse in the race.” It could be a lucrative night for team Smith and Butt, who also team with Hey Yo in Group 3 race The George Gath, the former Kiwi whose been impressive in her first Victorian season. She will start from gate two, inside fellow mare and favourite Red Hot Tooth. “(Hey Yo’s) been fantastic since she come over from New Zealand,” Butt said. “She raced at a pretty good level over there but couldn’t quite compete with the very best ones. “Three starts for two wins and a second, and a big run last week behind Sparkling Success (at Bendigo). (Shepparton’s) probably a little bit easier field, but in saying that Red Hot Tooth’s been in her best form and probably should be hard to beat along with a few of the others.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Pitted against the biggest metropolitan and country harness racing clubs in the state, Hamilton Harness Racing Club pipped them all at Sunday’s Harness Racing Victoria industry awards night, named the 2017 Best Presented Track/Venue of the Year. It was just reward for the thousands of tireless hours the local club’s small committee and volunteers put in to ensure quality is reached at all levels. Hamilton Harness Racing Club chief executive Chrissy Hawker was on hand to accept the major award held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne. In her fourth year as the country club’s CEO, Hawker was ecstatic for the hard working team and said it was a pleasant surprise to be recognised. By Spectator-Observer Partnership Reprinted with permission of The Spectator

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