THEY pulled out all the stops to attract Victoria’s best pacers, but Terang Harness Racing Club fell just short of a dream scenario at this weekend’s metropolitan class meeting.
The club had been actively seeking out connections of star pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art for a highly-anticipated match race between the pair.
But their bid fell just short with Lochinvar Art’s trainer David Moran preferring to wait until Saturday week’s Bendigo meeting to next run his pacer.
Nonetheless Ride High will headline the eight-race card set for this Saturday and will be a warm favourite to win the $30,000 Christian’s Bus Gammalite Pace over 1680 metres.
Trained by Clayton Tonkin, Ride High has won its past 10 starts and triumphed in 15 of its 16 races, which includes group one success as a three year-old.
The son of Art Major will start from the second row of the eight horse event, which also includes resuming Camperdown pacer Bad Billy.
Terang Harness Racing Club vice president Clare Payne said the club was stoked to attract Australia’s best pacer as it recognised Terang’s best horse.
“We’re just lucky to have a meeting we normally wouldn’t have and to have him here is pretty special,” she said.
Payne said the club had proven it was now capable of staging metropolitan class meetings and was hoping to turn it into an annual date on the HRV calendar.
“That’s something we’re aiming at now,” she said.
“We have a great track too which helps.”
Payne said the recognition of Gammalite was also hoped to continue beyond this year.
“Christian’s Bus has committed for three years and the O’Connor family is involved so if we could keep it going that would be great,” she said.
“Gammalite normally has a race named after him held in March but this event acknowledges him a bit more than what we ever have.”
The remainder of the card promises to showcase a bumper night of racing, with local trainers testing their horses against the country region’s best.
Payne said the rest of the card was some of the best supporting races the club has held.
She thanked Haras des Trotteurs for its support of the $20,000 Volstead@Haras des Trotteurs which will see connections win a free service to stallion Volstead if the 2180 metre trotting track record is broken.
“The trotting race is fairly big too and we thank Haras for the support,” Payne said.
The vice president said the club was disappointed crowds could not attend the event.
However, she encouraged locals to spend a night out at the races from the comfort of their own homes by purchasing a free virtual ticket online.
“Because we can’t have crowds we’ve set up a virtual ticket and sent it out via all our avenues and to other local racing clubs and football clubs so everyone can still watch the races,” Payne said.
“There’s competitions with it and a happy hour and it’s all free so hopefully people will jump on and it makes them feel like they are watching it live.
“It was the best scenario we could come up with.”
To purchase a ticket visit www.teranghr.com.au.
The first race is set to kick off at 5.29pm, with the last race set down for 9.02pm.