Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Harness racing back at Gunbower

On Sunday, Gunbower Harness Racing Club will host the Gunbower Pacing Cup, the first time in seven years.

GEORDIE COWAN November 16, 2012 4:51am

Gunbower Harness Racing Club secretary Peter O’Shea (left) and president Roger Brereton are looking forward to Sunday’s Gunbower Pacing Cup.

Gunbower Harness Racing Club will host the Gunbower Pacing Cup for the first time in seven years on Sunday.

In an exciting time for the club, Gunbower president Roger Brereton said ‘‘all the local people’’ were looking forward to the event.

‘‘It is looking fantastic,’’ he said.

‘‘We have top fields, everyone is excited and the weather is looking perfect.’’

Brereton said all but one of the eight races on the card had full fields and included top class horses.

As well as the feature Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup, the meet boasts several other interesting races.

One race organisers are hoping will have a big impact is the Gunbower Hot Lap, which will see competitors complete the back straight and one full lap of the 1239m Gunbower course.

‘‘We are hoping to break the (track) record in that one,’’ Brereton said.

‘‘It is rare to have a race that short.

‘‘If you have a quick horse that can run very quick over a mile or less, you can have a very good chance.’’

Other feature races include the Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship (fourth heat) and the Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup.

Entertainment for the day will not be limited to what is on track, with plenty of activities and entertainment on course.

Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey will be a guest speaker for a Young Farmers Group function, with more than 120 people expected to attend.

Brereton said giving young farmers something to look forward to was partly behind the decision to host the event.

‘‘We’ve got to think ahead and hopefully we can get people here and, if they like coming, hopefully they’ll come the following year,’’ he said.

‘‘Just to give them a day out because they’ve been going through hard times, the young farmers, so to get them all together and have a social afternoon.’’

Children’s entertainment includes a supervised junior disco, jumping castle and face painting, while the Oliver family will have a display of whip cracking.

Many prizes will be on offer in various competitions, with two holidays and a $500 cash prize to be won if entrants buy a racebook, while the women’s raffle has at least five prizes and there are some entry prizes.

The track and surrounds looked in terrific condition after countless hours of labour by the committee and other helpers in the past weeks, Brereton said.

‘‘I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be great,’’ he said.

‘‘We are trying to get a community, family feel.

‘‘Our idea is just to get people to come on course and enjoy the atmosphere in the nice country air and hope they enjoy themselves.’’

Brereton thanked the club’s supporters for sticking with it when it shifted to Echuca and back to Gunbower, as well as Echuca Harness Racing Club for its support.

Gates open at 11.30am, with the first race at 1.24pm.

The Gunbower Cup will run at 4.58pm, while the last race will be at 5.38pm.

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