ARARAT Harness Racing Club is hoping for a big turnout at the 2014 Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup on Saturday night.
Club president Tony Bond hopes strong fields and free entry will attract more than 1000 patrons.
“It’s coming along really well,” he said. “We’re really happy with all our fields – we’ve got 10 races and the trainers have really supported us well.
“We’ve got free entry, so hopefully we’ll get plenty here.”
Bond said both the $25,505 Pacing Cup and $10,505 Clive Reid Memorial Ararat Trotters Cup would be hotly contested.
“With the pacing cup it’s a very even field, they’ve all got ability and a bit of a chance,” he said.
“The trotting cup is very even as well – it could go any way.”
The Gavin Lang-driven Arber is among the favourites for the pacing cup, with two wins from his past five starts.
Bond said Arber – who was formerly trained by Armstrong’s Brooke Hansen and ran in the same race last year – would know the track well.
Great Western trainer and driver Kerryn Manning will be paired with New Zealand gelding Our Blackbird, while Chris Alford – who has driven more than 5000 winners – will be driving colt Jadahson.
Manning is listed to drive in all 10 races.
A field of nine will contest the pacing cup, which is a leg of the Choice Hotels Victorian Country Cup Championship, while 11 will contend the trotters cup.
Bond said on top of the racing action, there would also be prizes and children’s activities throughout the night.
“We’ve got a $1000 giveaway, $500 jackpot and a night’s accommodation and meal at Tabcorp Park in Melton up for grabs,” he said.
There will be two children’s bikes to be won, plus an animal farm, jumping castle and pony trots to keep the children entertained.
Gates open at 4pm at the Russell T White Raceway.
The first race is scheduled to start at 6.30pm and the final race at 10.55pm.