Harness racing makes a welcome return to Ararat on Tuesday but not under the traditional lights, instead with a seven-event, daytime card commencing at 2.33pm and winding up at 6.07pm.
"We were supposed to race in November but ran into problems in the lead up when one of the light poles came down," explained Club Secretary Trudy Ryan.
"That meeting was transferred to Terang and we have taken down each pole to be thoroughly checked out."
"So, this meeting and our next on December 23rd will be daytime and then it's full steam ahead to have the lights shining brightly for our Cup meeting in February.
With the public being allowed back to Ararat for Tuesday's day meeting, a reminder that you must have proof of your double cv19 vaccination and check in before entry to the course.
Importantly, COVID-19 raceday protocols will continue to apply, including physical distancing requirements and properly fitted masks to be carried at all times and worn where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
In addition to the usual raceday canteen and bar the club will have Devonshire tea available for purchase along with their very popular raffle.
Horsham's Bill Deleeuw shared the joy of an Inter Dominion heat victory with a large band of part-owners when former Kiwi trotter Lotamuscle saluted on night two of the series on Wednesday night at Bathurst.
After a promising fourth placing on opening night at Menangle, Lotamuscle enjoyed a sweet trail on the back of the hot favourite Majestic Man for the first lap of the 1730m sprint.
Driver Matty Craven found clear air with 500 to go and Lotamuscle looked the one they had to beat at the top of the home stretch.
The 5yo bay trotted solidly to the line and held off the fast finishing Just Believe (Chris Alford) to score by a neck in a rate of 1:57.5
Lotamuscle has now won three races from eleven starts for his Aussie connections, after being purchased from New Zealand by Craven on the strength of his victory in the 2019 NZ Trotting Derby.
The square-gaiter has drawn inside the second line for his third-round heat at Newcastle on Sunday night and provided he trots all the way should make the $145,000 Final at Menangle Saturday 11th.
Stawell owner-trainer Ray Harvey and driver Grant Campbell have enjoyed a wonderful run over the last three months with the gallant trotter, The Penny Drops and with two rounds of the InterDom under the belt and given a trouble-free run on Sunday night, the combo look set to play a major part in the rich final.
Second placing in round one over 2400m, a handy fifth over the unsuitable 1730m at Bathurst and ideally drawn in gate two for Newcastle on Sunday (2030m) should have the gelded son of Danny Bouchea and Chilly Pepperell cherry ripe for the marathon 3030 metre final.
Harness fans across the land have a soft spot for Craven's mighty little mare Pink Galahs which races in the famous green with yellow stars of the legendary Maoris Idol.
Third placings in both rounds and barrier four on Sunday see her currently rated as $4.00 fav. for the Final, with The Penny Drops at $4.40 and Lotamuscle a t $11.
They're off @ Ararat (D) Tuesday 7th; Stawell (D) Cup Meeting, Sunday 12th; Swan Hill (N) Monday 13th; Charlton (D) Thursday 16th; Terang (T) Sunday 19th & Ararat (D) Thursday 23rd.
West Side Wimmera Wally
Best bet: R6 No.3 Kimble $6 win
Value bet: R4 No.8 Caesarion $3 eachway
Flexi bet: R3 box quinella Nos. 1,5,6,8,9 spend $8
Last return: $35.00 @ Ararat gallops