Harness racing Easter bid fails

Stawell Harness Racing Club has been left stunned after an attempt by them to have some form of live racing in Stawell on Easter Sunday failed.

After learning of the Stawell Race Club's misfortune in having its Easter Sunday Stawell Cup meeting abandoned because of suspected vandalism of the track, SHRC president, Geoff Sanderson made contact with Harness Racing Victoria asking if it was possible for the SHRC to conduct a racing meeting at its Laidlaw Park track on Easter Sunday.

"I expected this would be a million to one shot, but HRV officials were able to put together a restricted race meeting to be held at Stawell on that day.

"We immediately made contact with the Stawell Race Club and put it to them that they move everything planned for their Easter Sunday meeting to Laidlaw Park.

"This would have involved their bar, marquees and entertainment. It was also suggested they would retain all the proceeds from the day.

"Unfortunately the Stawell Race Club rejected this proposition," Mr Sanderson said.

He said despite the Stawell Race Club rejecting the offer the SHRC decided to continue on with the restricted meeting.

"On Thursday morning HRV officials advised us that after pressure from the government, Racing Victoria and local government, they would abandon the proposed restricted meeting.

"From the moment we learnt of the plight of the Stawell Race Club, our number one thought and intention was to help the club with some form of live racing.

"At no stage were we looking to make money as a result of their misfortune.

"I feel disappointed that in the big picture both racing codes could not be combined to work together, something our Premier is always talking about," Mr Sanderson said.

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