An outstanding program of racing is on offer when the Goulburn Harness Racing Club hosts the 2018 Tom & Angela Hewitt Memorial race day next Sunday afternoon. Honouring two great stalwarts of the harness racing industry, the afternoon of racing also doubles as an important fundraiser for the Crookwell Community Trust.
The Crookwell Community Trust provides aid to people of the Upper Lachlan Shire who have experienced extreme difficulties due to personal trauma and or natural disaster. The shire includes Gunning, Crookwell, Taralga, Binda, Bigga & Tuena, and each year tens of thousands of dollars are provided to those who have suffered.
Tim McCarthy, Chairperson of the Trust, was delighted with the day of fund raising last season. “The Crookwell Community Trust was keen to continue its involvement and is delighted to be involved again with Hewitt Memorial day”.
As was the case last year, Trust members will conduct a major raffle with multiple prizes including weekend accommodation on the South Coast. Patrons who simply wish to make donation can do so as well; just go and see the trust members on the day.
All funds raised on the day will be used to bolster a pool of money that can instantly be made available to people who are in distress, when they needed it the most, which is usually immediately after the emergency has arisen. To meet the needs of those who require help, the Trust must remain financial and calls on the generosity of the community and businesses to help its endeavours.
On the racing scene, the Tom & Angela Hewitt Memorial was first held in 2010, and since then the $12,740 feature has been won by a host of classy performers. More recently Crookwell district trainer Dennis Picker was successful when the 3YO Breeders Crown champion filly Just Cala won the race in 2015.
Owned by Dennis’ brother Joe, the grandsons of Tom and Angela Hewitt enjoyed the win as the then 4YO Art Major mare raced away to an easy win over a good quality field. Just Cala raced on for another 7 starts recording a couple of wins in Melton Victoria before retiring to the breeding barn. The Group 1 winning mare is now the dam of a yearling filly by super sire Bettors Delight.
In 2016 the Hewitt Memorial winner was the aptly named Spare Me Days, owned, trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, another of Tom and Angela’s grandsons. Named after one of Tom’s favourite expressions, Spare Me Days established a race record of 1:57.2 for the 2240 metre distance. A star in young Brad’s stable, the now 7YO horse has developed into a quality fast class performer with race track earnings fast approaching $350,000.
Supporting the Hewitt Memorial will be the $12,740 Walla Walla Stakes for the C4 and better grade pacers. With the immortal pacer buried adjacent to the Goulburn Paceway’s home straight, the Walla Walla Stakes is being held for the fourth year and provides trainers with the ideal lead up race to the Group 3 $31,800 Goulburn Soldiers Club Frank & Edna Day Goulburn Cup to be run during Goulburn’s Carnival of Cups race day on the 28th January.
Sunday’s meeting is the first of four being conducted by the Canberra and Goulburn harness racing clubs as part of their combined summer carnival of racing. With over $300,000 in prize money on offer, the two Southern Tablelands clubs are trying to give back to the participants that so often support them.
“It’s a carnival we’re hoping we can grow over the next few years; there’s great prize money to be won, and between the two clubs we are covering all grades of horses” said Goulburn Club President Dennis Day.
Following Sunday’s Hewitt Memorial meeting, the racing action moves to Canberra on Monday 22nd January for the $15,300 Canberra Derby and $15,300 Canberra Oaks. Next will be Goulburn’s Carnival of Cups race day on Sunday 28th January. Featuring the Group 3 Goulburn Cup, the meeting also includes the $19,080 Goulburn Rose pace, with all other races valued at $10,000.
The summer carnival wraps up on Sunday the 4th February when the Canberra club hosts its main meeting of the year featuring the $25,500 Canberra Cup for C3/6 horses. Support races include the $10,200 Len Cornock Memorial for the 2 year old pacers, and the $10,200 Ackie Hawke Memorial.
Gates to the course will be open from about noon and the club encourages all to come out for a great afternoon of competitive and interesting racing, and to experience the wonderful facilities of the Grace Millson Function Centre. Enjoy quality food and a wide range of cold alcoholic and soft drinks whilst watching all the racing action in air conditioned comfort.
Goulburn harness racing is brought to fans by the kind support of Tabcorp, Goulburn Soldiers Club, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Divalls Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage, Goulburn Mazda, ARW Multigroup, Hollingworth Crane Hire, RSM Accountants, and a host of smaller businesses including Top Water Carters Crookwell, First National Real Estate Goulburn, Goulburn Livestock Transport, Goulburn Landmark, J A Communications, Crust Pizza, Glen Mia ACT Saddlery and Ranvet.
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