Collie Harness Racing’s 2018 season gets under way on Sunday week with the running of the Bendigo Bank King Coal Cup, a 2700-metre event for C2 and better pacers.
Also featured is the final of the John Martin Memorial for horses, with those who qualified in the heats to be run this Sunday afternoon in Williams.
Several Collie trainers have horses that have been primed for the season.
Karen and Leo Wallrodt always have a big team at each of the local meets, as does Errol Ashcroft.
Brian Wheeler, Peter Strike, Tex Flynn and Peter Hemsley also have horses ready to compete there.
All the usual attractions will feature at the opening meeting with plenty of prizes to be won on the chocolate wheel, including a week holiday at Kalbarri Beach Resort, a kids bike, the Pick 4 competition and $3000 on the Select the Order Prize on a selected race.
Dinner for two is also up for grabs for the lady adjudged to be the best dressed on course.
Karen Wallrodt had her best result for some time at Bridgetown on Sunday afternoon when Beware of Darkness showed great strength to sit in the breeze for reinsman Aiden DeCampo and run away with the event in a very fast 2.00.5 mile rate.
He returned dividends of $21 for the win and $4.40 the place and this result puts him into the final of the Jim Draper Memorial event in Williams on Sunday where he will be highly fancied – this should have him cherry ripe for his local meeting the following week.
At the same meeting Bianca Ashcroft’s evergreen mare, Tella, came home well from back in the field for a close third for Kyle Anderson as a $2.40 place chance.
Bunbury’s meeting on Saturday evening saw Wayne Justins’ consistent mare Simondou Sue come from four back in the running line for Deni Roberts for a sound second again.
She was her usual good value as a $5.20 place chance.
The weekend’s racing started in Wagin on Friday night and Brian Wheeler engaged Tim Stone for the drive on Empty The Till in the first.
The pair ran a creditable third after coming from three back on the pegs for a place dividend of $3.40.
Son, Trent, then drove Jeremy Thornton’s Simply Sweet into third place at $1.50 the place while Tex Flynn’s Trunkey Galileo showed he is coming into form at the right time when he sat one out one back for Shane Butterworth before storming home into second place.
He paid a dividend of $2.40.
One of the strongest performances of the night was put up by the Jack Justins driven Better Not Knowing who sat three wide throughout the race before dashing clear and then holding out the favourite in the run to the line.
He was good value returning $8 and $3 for supporters.
Monday’s Pinjarra programme provided a second for David Hunter’s Bailey Major who finished second for Stuart McDonald to the long odds on favourite as a $2.60 place chance.
Several Collie pacers and reinsmen will have starters at tomorrow night’s Albany program and the action then shifts to Williams on Sunday afternoon for the third meeting of the combined Williams, Bridgetown and Collie Annual Awards.
Flying Phoebe and Midnight Man are equal Leading Horse, with the former the Leading Mare.
Ryan Bell, Kaiden Hayter and Dean Miller made ground on early Leading Reinsperson, Shannon Suvaljko with Dean Miller taking the lead in the Trainer’s Award form Bell and Ross Olivieri.
After a good day in Bridgetown, Madeleine Young leads Mitchell Miller and Deni Roberts in the award for the Junior Reinspersons.