Stawell Pacing Cup move

Stawell Harness Racing Club has accepted an invitation from Harness Racing Victoria to change the date of the annual Stawell Pacing Cup meeting.

The date of the Pacing Cup, which has been run in December, will now be run in January 2015.

Harness Racing Victoria offered the January date, which would see the running of the Pacing Cup on the Sunday of the Australia Day long weekend.

Harness Racing Victoria has been able to secure several Sunday day race meetings from Sky Channel, with Stawell being allocated the January meeting.

Stawell Harness Racing Club president, Geoff Sanderson, said this was an exciting move for the club to be able to secure such an important date and a full day meeting.

"The committee jumped at the chance to make this move to the Australia Day long weekend.

"The full day meeting will mean we will be able to do a lot more on the day rather than running with the rushed format of a twilight race meeting."

Mr Sanderson said with so many people in the region for the Australia Day long weekend, the club felt it was the right decision to make the move.

"With the Great Western races the day prior, we are looking to speak with the Great Western Race Club with a view of a possible cross promotion of the two meetings.

"The men's Australian Open tennis final will be played later on the Sunday and we may look to keep the big screen on the course and having the tennis final televised enabling people to stay and watch the final.

"We are also interested in featuring some form of Australia Day celebrations and will speak with the Northern Grampians Shire Council, looking to work in with their celebrations," he said.

Mr Sanderson said the new date offered the club so much more scope to promote the Pacing Cup meeting on a bigger format with it being a full day meeting.

"We had been in talks with HRV to have this opportunity and we were certainly thrilled when they came up with this offer.

"With the new season dates just being released it was pleasing that we have also retained the same number of race dates from the previous season.

"We have 11 race dates in the 2014/2015 season with one of these remaining at Tabcorp Park in Melton, which is great for the club.

"The club extends its gratitude to HRV for having faith in us to be able to conduct the Pacing Cup meeting on this sought after date," he said.

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