A STAR-STUDDED line-up is set to take to Horsham Racing Centre on Sunday for the $60,000 Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup.
Last year’s runner-up Smoken Up is returning to headline the impressive card, which also includes New Zealand product Mah Sish and Wimmera hope Abettorpunt.
Horsham and District Racing Club president Justin Lane said the quality of entrants across the board would provide fantastic entertainment for racegoers.
“There’s always a lot of hard work that goes into organising the cup,” he said.
“To see the quality of horses in the cup and across all events is great.”
Mr Lane said trotter Blitzthemcalder, who will compete for the $15,000 Conch Deville Horsham Trotters Cup, was a massive drawcard.
“Blitzthemcalder is probably one of the best trotters in the country,” he said.
“That type of horse being attracted to Horsham is fantastic.”
The Horsham Pacing Cup will feature eight races, plus two pony trots, with gates opening at 1.30pm for the first race at 2.34pm.
Abettorpunt, bred by Horsham’s Terry Lewis, is one of two Wimmera hopes in the main race, with Mr Lane’s own horse, National Service, listed third.
He said it was exciting to have a horse run in the race.
“Our horse National Service realistically is probably an outside chance,” Mr Lane said.
“It’s just the thrill of having a horse good enough running in our own cup.”
Horsham and District Racing Club publicity officer Tony Logan said it was an intriguing race to pick.
“It will be interesting to see how the bookmakers see it,” he said.
“Smoken Up out in six suits him – he’ll be trying to get to the lead and he’s got the chance to do it from there.
“If Abettorpunt gets a crack in the final 300 metres, it’ll be pretty interesting.
“My heart says Abettorpunt to beat Smoken Up and Mah Sish, but my head says Smoken Up, Mah Sish, then Abettorpunt and Causing Terror.”
Mr Logan said the club was expecting a good crowd at the weekend.
“I think given the weather, we’ll get a great turnout with a great family atmosphere,” he said.
“We’ve got heaps of entertainment, activities and giveaways on throughout the day.
“Everything will be jumping we hope.”
Mr Logan said activities included raffles, a live band, free showbags for the first 150 children to enter and all the action live from the big screen.
Gates open at 1.30pm, while the action kicks off at 2.20pm with the first heat of the Western General Insurance Agencies Pony Trot.
The racing card starts at 2.34pm and finishes with the final race at 6.33pm.
Entry is $10 for adults, $5 for concession and free for children aged 18 and under when accompanied by an adult.