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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

District trainers chase Christmas cheer and cash

There is plenty of racing on during the festive season and district trainers will be out in force trying to taste success at various meetings.

HANNAH DRISCOLL December 26, 2013 4:05am

Thousands of people across Victoria are expected to flock to the races in the next few days as the Christmas festivities wind down and new year celebrations heat up.

There are seven race meetings scheduled for today and races at Benalla and Cranbourne tomorrow.

Today Tatura trainer Vern Proctor has Vege Bill and Tess Trick entered in races one and two respectively at Kerang, with Wine Shanty an emergency for the last race, while Benalla trainer Vince Nolen’s Haiti is equal top weight for the third race.

The first race at Benalla kicks off at 1pm tomorrow and the club’s general manager Bradley Thomas was thrilled with Tuesday’s acceptances.

‘‘The fields are fantastic, they’re great sized fields for a Friday Christmas time, again a show of faith the owners and trainers have in the Benalla track,’’ Thomas said.

There will be plenty of district trainers hoping for a late Christmas present, with Benalla and Goorambat trainers Peter Donnelly, Wayne Nichols and Nolen going head-to-head in the first race, an 1106m maiden plate.

Donnelly’s Red Tasmanian is a first starter, while Nichols’ Water Force ran third last start at Wangaratta and Nolen’s Costamony came second at Albury last time out.

Goorambat trainer Julie Schmidt’s Go Gadget Go is in race two, a three-year-old maiden plate, Nichols’ Jet Zena is entered in the third race, a 1406m maiden plate, while Caniambo’s Darren Stumpo rests his hopes on Heartofthedevil in race five, a 0 to 58 handicap.

Nichols’ Theforcebewithyou and Mariposa Lily will go up against Tatura trainer Ivan Lister’s Valdori in race seven, a 0 to 58 handicap, and Tatura’s Gary Sherer’s Not Too Sure is entered in the final race.

‘‘This is a bit of an unknown for us because this is a pick-up meeting. We’ve picked up this meeting from Ballarat, we don’t have this meeting next year, so it’s a one-off for us,’’ Thomas said.

‘‘We’re really excited with it being holiday time, the temperature forecast is fantastic, so from a family point of view people can enjoy Christmas Day, maybe shopping on Boxing Day, and then we’ve got heaps of free kids’ activities with Kelly Sports.

‘‘In terms of family entertainment there is going to be plenty on course, all free activities once you’re inside the gate.’’

Gates open at 11.30am.

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