Club records smashed
MULTIPLE records were set at the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club on Sunday, but this time it was the patrons instead of the horses.
The club recorded its highest taking at the gate, bar, TAB and punters club with more than 900 people attending the race meeting.
Leading up to the event, club president Lynton Bishop feared the race day would be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions forecasted.
But a change in temperature resulted in perfect racing conditions and a day out for patrons.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Bishop said.
“We were extremely impressed with the patron numbers along with the quality of horses that came to Morgan Park.”
Horses and trainers travelled from as far as Naracoorte and Mount Gambier in the state’s south east.
The race meeting included the Victor Harbor Pacing Cup, which was won by Naracoorte-trained Emain Macha for Greg Schoefield, and driven by Wayne Hill.
The five-year-old race-favourite started the 2660m standing-start race with a 10m handicap to win by nearly six metres.
The horse broke the track record by two tenths of a second, which was originally set on March 20, 2011, by Sound System with a time of 2.01.9.
It wasn’t Schoefield’s only win of the day, also teaming up with Hill for victories in races one and seven.
“Schoefield is a very astute trainer, he has always had a nice horse,” Bishop said.
“Emain Macha could ultimately dominate the fast class races in SA.”
Previously, Harness Racing SA made the decision to move all cup races back to standing starts to give all horses an equal opportunity.
Bishop said often one or two horses would dominate the cup races across the state.
“By having a standing start, it brings the field closer together,” he said.
“It gives the front markers an even chance because you’re handicapping the better-quality horses.”
The next race meeting at Victor Harbor will be on Monday, January 14, and will include the Trotters Cup.
Gates will open at about 11.30am with the first race expected to start at about 1pm.
Correct times will be advised on the club’s Facebook page and website.