Friday racing at the Goulburn Paceway features an outstanding 9 race card.
However, bush fires which have taken lives and caused so much damage on the South Coast, and more locally along the Kings Highway and in the Nerriga areas have generated dangerous levels of smoke that have seen many race meetings cancelled throughout NSW.
The Goulburn harness racing meeting which had been programmed for the 23 December was one those cancelled, and given the continuing poor conditions, the likelihood of this Friday’s meeting at Goulburn look forlorn.
Club officials have been in consultation with Harness Racing NSW and Club Menangle to negotiate a change of venue should Friday racing at the Goulburn Paceway not be able to proceed. Unfortunately weather forecasts for Friday 3 January are not encouraging for either club. Participants and fans are encouraged to monitor the Goulburn Club’s social media sites to find out the latest information.
In the unlikely event racing does proceed, the afternoon will see a huge 9 race program featuring a number of very talented horses.
The standout horse of the day is the boom pacer Balraj, a 4 year old Art Major gelding trained by Anthony Simiana who contests race 7, the Goulburn Soldiers Club Pace.
A lightly raced pacer, Balraj is unbeaten in 6 Australian starts and has already paced under the 1:50 mark when he recorded a scintillating win at Menangle in August stopping the clock at 1:49.1 for the mile.
At his latest start the pacer was a narrow winner at Newcastle in an up to 73 ratings race, and followed that up with a very impressive 1:50.8 trial win at Menangle.
Friday’s race is arguably Balraj’s toughest contest to date, with the field including good performers such as Group 1 winner Elle Yeah, Group placed Arma The Gun, and a number of other solid faster class horses.
Balraj will start from gate 3 and driver Todd McCarthy will likely take up a spot with the leading horses which will make him very hard to beat.
Prestonpans from the Tim Butt stable appeals as the hardest to beat after drawing gate 2, while Harry Martin’s Double Encounter has the speed and ability to charge home late.
The hopes of a local win rest with the Brad Hewitt trained and driven My Casino Belle. Engaged in race 8, the First National Real Estate Goulburn Pace, the 2018 Red Ochre winner has drawn gate 10 and should find a spot in the running line as the field settles.
A very well performed mare who contested many of the Group 1 fillies and mares’ classics, My Casino Belle has had two starts since a spell and should be at her top for Friday’s assignment.
Hardest to beat is the Sam Hewitt trained and driven Redbank Cooper. A last start dead heat winner of the Canola Cup, Redbank Cooper is in career best form having won his last 3 starts.
Club members are reminded of the members draw which starts at $100 and jackpots $50 each time it is not won. The prize for Friday’s race meeting is $100. Club volunteers also host raffles and second chance draws for those holding losing tickets.
Gates to the Goulburn Paceway will be open from 12 noon and the club’s committee invites all harness fans to come out and experience the wonderful facilities of the Grace Millson Centre. Enjoy quality food and a wide range of cold alcoholic and soft drinks whilst watching all the racing action in comfort.
Goulburn harness racing is brought to fans by the kind support of Tabcorp, Goulburn Soldiers Club, Hollingworth Crane Hire Service, Randwick Equine Centre, Southern Highlands Equine Centre, Sun Solutions Goulburn, Benstud, RSM Accountants, and a host of smaller businesses including Top Water Carters Crookwell, First National Real Estate Goulburn, Goulburn Livestock Transport, Landmark Southern Livestock Agenices , J A Communications, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Glen Mia ACT Saddlery, and ASPIRE Traffic Offender Course.
Race 1: SUN SOLUTIONS GOULBURN PACE:
TIPS: 11 Taramin, 2 Play The Music, 3 No Risk No Return, 9 Forbidden Feelings
Race 2: RANDWICK EQUINE CENTRE 3YO PACE:
TIPS: 7 My Ultimate Bondi, 10 Dancelikeanangel, Toanui Spirit, 4 Philandering Chef
Race 3: HOLLINGWORTH CRANE HIRE SERVICE PACE:
TIPS: 9 Masons Delight, 5 Petes Art Major, 6 Stone Cracker, 3 Montenero
Race 4: BENSTUD LADYSHIP PACE:
TIPS: 9 Katamach, 5 Lilymadimac, 3 Dancing Chick, 7 Sweet Sangria
Race 5: RSM ACCOUNTANTS PACE:
TIPS: 6 Bitcoin, 9 Kiwi Stride, 10 Keep Rockin, 3 Whos Driving
Race 6: ASPIRE TRAFFIC OFFENDER COURSE PACE:
TIPS: 7 Typhoon Stride, 2 Cherry Consent, 5 Fullon, 1 Artistic Trouble
Race 7: GOULBURN SOLDIERS CLUB PACE:
TIPS: 3 Balraj, 2 Prestonpans, 11 Double Encounters, 6 Arma The Gun
Race 8: FIRST NATIONAL REAL ESTATE GOULBURN PACE
TIPS: 10 My Casino Belle, 9 Redbank Cooper, 5 Its Inevitable, 6 Last Party
Race 9: TAB ODDS & EVENS PACE
TIPS: 2 Casino Grin, 10 Mac Almighty, 7 Jimison, 9 The Announcer