Day At The Track

Looking forward to the next 100 years

11:00 AM 22 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Stars Tonight,Harness racing
Stars Tonight, 8, driven by John Dunn, gets up to win the Marlborough Cup prelude by a neck.
Matt Brown photo

The Marlborough Harness Racing Club are looking confidently to the future after seeing off their first 100 years in appropriate fashion over the weekend.

The Waterlea-based club celebrated 100 years of racing at the Blenheim venue with a well-attended two-day meeting.

MHRC chairperson Petrina Shutkowski said that there was high-class, exciting racing action on both Friday and Sunday, with good numbers turning out for the Interislander Summer Festival Day on Sunday.

“We had a really good crowd on course [on Sunday] because the weather was good and there were lots of activities for kids. On-course turnover was also strong.

“The fields were really strong, with good form. We had to eliminate some horses from the original nominations because we just didn’t have spaces in the fields for them.”

There was also live entertainment on-course, plus a special centenary race book designed to mark the occasion, a display of memorabilia in the Waterlea Hall and some vintage cars to honour the historic occasion.

“People were just happy to be involved,” suggested Petrina, who envisages a bright future for the sport in this region.

“I think harness racing in Marlborough is pretty strong.  There are a number of trainers and a base of horses here … that’s what drives these meetings … so it’s still positive for harness here.”

Although the two-day summer carnival will be the only harness event staged at Waterlea in future, with the winter meeting not taking place, Petrina is confident support levels are high going forward.

Read the full story here

 

by Peter Jones

Courtesy of The Marlborough Weekly

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