Action packed night of harness racing in Ararat

Father/son winning Trotters Cup combination, trainer Neville Welsh (right) and Clinton with their spoils. Clinton Welsh takes Wildenstein to victory in the Clive Reed Memorial Ararat Trotters Cup. Pictures: PETER PICKERING

THE $10,505 Clive Reed Memorial Ararat Trotters Cup for T5 or better class (D-H) over 2570 metres went to another Elmore trained runner.

Six-year-old Sundon/Wheels To Go gelding Wildenstein, for Neville Welsh and trotting devotee owner Graham Mulhall, saluted in the second feature race of the Ararat Harness Racing Club’s major meeting.

Driven by Melton-based son Clinton, Wildenstein was best to begin from the pole in the semi walk-in start and after being rated to perfection, defied all challengers to record a 3.3-metre victory in a mile rate of 2-07.2.

Finishing second was the pre-race favourite Death Defying, with outsider Maorisfavouritesun scoring third from three back in the moving line.

It was Wildenstein’s 11th victory in 81 outings.

Meanwhile, trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Gavin Lang combined with Our Petite Soeur to take out the Angelique Club Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship (18th heat) by 2.3m over So Demanding, with Graceful Affair third.

The meeting also proved fruitful for the hometown runners, with the Michael Bellman-trained and driven Kingsup saluting in the first of the night, the Kevin and Colleen Smith Pace, while Strappersorphan for Terry Young and Grant Campbell was victorious in the VSTA 3YO Trotters Mobile.

Other western district winners on the night were Jilliby Jitterbug (Marg Lee and Jason Lee – Terang) in the Ararat Advertiser 2Y0 Pace, Keayang Storm (Marg Lee and Glen Craven) in the Collins Family Pace, and Whats Nicky Got (Matt Craven – Terang) in the Ararat Hotel Back To The Rat Trotters Handicap for T0 & T1 class.

Ararat Harness Racing secretary Lloyd Grice said the club was very happy with the overall success of the night.

“The crowd was definitely bigger than last year’s cup and the tote turnover was up on last year’s too,” he said.

“That shows us the Easter time slot for our Pacing and Trotting Cups is certainly a winner. I must thank the TAB, who was generous in its support too, giving us 100 $10 betting vouchers to give away and I’m sure with continued success that support will continue at future cup meetings.

“We also have Easter Saturday next year and it’s something I will be pushing to retain forever.

“Hopefully I will be able to do more cross promotion next year with Great Western Rodeo on Friday, Stawell Races on Sunday and the Stawell Gift Final on the Monday. Lets face it, Ararat, Great Western, Stawell and Halls Gap are the places to be over Easter in Victoria.”

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