I suppose it’s inevitable that, with the passing of time, we will regularly lose harness racing’s household names, but this year, which is only five months old, seems to be particularly bad in that regard.
For decades now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the claim by some trainers that they go too fast at Addington, so we don’t line up there. In fact, it’s been discussed (and disputed) at a number of horseman’s meetings that I’ve attended.
Sadly, this year has seen the passing of two of the unquestionable legends of our Industry, Roy Purdon and Jim Dalgety. Along with Derek Jones, these guys have had enormous influence, both horse and human wise.
It would be a harsh harness racing critic that found fault with “The Race by Grins”. It had everything including Trans-Tasman rivalry, the early expected battle for the lead, moves aplenty, and some wonderful performances, particularly by the first two home. It certainly went a long way to cement the event as a season highlight and a great way to show off our industry and best horseflesh.
Whether you’re being caught up in the hype surrounding next Thursday nights ‘slot’ race or not, it is surprising to see some people slagging off about it. Considering the concept is in its’ infancy, and has come from absolutely nowhere, it’s hard to see any negatives.
I find myself bemused by the kerfuffle over the outcome of the open class pacers race that was scheduled for Alexandra Park this Friday. Unfortunately, it only attracted four entries, three from the one stable, so the sensible decision was made to not run it.
As mentioned last week, a lot of work is being done behind the scenes on the current issues surrounding programming, something that is long overdue. And nowhere is a better indication of the problems than the Addington meeting this Friday.
Earlier this week, Trainers & Drivers Assn. representatives met with Gary Woodham and Catherine McDonald from HRNZ, to discuss issues that had been raised by the both the Northern and Canterbury branches.