Goulburn’s Carnival of Cups race day is finally here and on Sunday afternoon harness racing fans can enjoy a top quality 8 race program including 3 feature races. The highlight of the afternoon is the $30,000 Divalls Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage Frank & Edna Day Goulburn Cup over the 2240m journey where a small, even and very classy field has been assembled.
The harness club is indebted to its many wonderful sponsors including the cup’s sponsor Divalls, the Goulburn Soldiers Club, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, The Tattersalls Hotel, Big Merino Shell, Goulburn Party Hire and the Day family. Without the support of these sponsors feature race meetings like Sunday’s would be virtually impossible to conduct.
In the cup leading local trainer Neil Day will be looking for his first home town cup victory with Magic Operative. Having endured many health problems over the last couple of seasons, Neil has the former group 1 winner in peak form. Last start, when driven by daughter Amy Day, Magic Operative unleashed a withering sprint to easily take out a fast class event at Menangle. That has primed the 7yo gelding for his mission on Sunday.
Lining up against the Day star will be the Luke McCarthy pair of Roman Stride and Mach Wiper. Both pacers have strong recent performances with Mach Wiper’s last start coming in the $400,000 Victoria Cup where he finished down the track behind the champion Smoken Up. Before that he was a highly impressive winner of the $30,000 Newcastle Cup. Roman Stride’s recent runs have been very solid and include a second to stable mate Mach Wiper at Newcastle, a win at Menangle and a last start third in the $35,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst.
An interesting runner is the Kevin Pizzuto trained Ohoka Dallas. A former New Zealander, he hasn’t raced since November 2009 however on that occasion he was beaten by super star pacer Auckland Reactor. With other classy performers such as Rohan Home, Tori Jack and the American import Fox Valley Appeal the race lacks nothing in class.
In a very even affair luck will be a significant factor however Mach Wiper has the speed to cross and will prove hard to beat. Magic Operative is likely to be running on strongly with Roman Stride filling the third spot.
Race 6, the $18,000 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose is the second feature of the afternoon and a capacity field of 11 runners is schedule to do battle at 5.44pm. The field is comprised of a number of highly promising up and coming pacers with the strongest local representative being the Dennis Day trained and driven Iron Outlaw. He has not drawn well in barrier 5 but as the winner of 4 of his only 8 starts has the ability to be in the finish.
The two leading types in the event appear to be the mares Russian Ball and Eloquent Babe who have drawn barriers 6 and 7. Both have strong recent efforts at Menangle and should be in the finish. Others with strong chances include Mansel Thomas, Pegleg Webb and Western River.
With the acceptance of Sam Douglas the event is likely to be run at a good pace which should suit the back markers, and in a very open race Iron Outlaw may swamp his rivals from Sam Douglas and Mansel Thomas
The third feature of the afternoon is the $12,000 Goulburn Mulwaree City Sprint. A very even field consisting of 9 well performed pacers augurs well for a new 1710m track record which is presently held by Ark Alencon at 1:57. The Luke McCarthy trained UK Connection has strung together a sequence of 3 wins and with good gate speed is the likely leader. Genuine from the Murray Sullivan stable is another who races on the pace whilst the Neil Day trained Itaintover, who won last year’s Goulburn Rose, likes to settle towards the rear of the field.
With a strong pace Itaintover has the strength to overwhelm his rivals and he is the selection from UK Connection and the David Hewitt trained pair of Super Sea and Ark Alencon.
Racing commences at 2.49pm and gates to the course will be open from late morning. The club has organised entertainment for all the family to make it a wonderful Sunday afternoon outing. Entry price is only $10 with a gold coin donation for pensioners. Children are admitted free.