Racing: Officials to investigate Ballarat Pacing Cup farce

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Updated: December 18, 2014
Last week's Ballarat Pacing Cup was reduced to a field of just four, and is now subject to an investigation by state racing officials (pic with thanks to thecourier.com.au)

Last week’s Ballarat Pacing Cup was reduced to a field of just four, and is now subject to an investigation by state racing officials (pic with thanks to thecourier.com.au)

The late scratching of all but four horses from the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup last Saturday night is under investigation by Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner. Six of the 10 runners were scratched after stewards discovered the use of over-sized sulkies. Stewards formally announced the dramatic turn of events at 8.53pm – 39 minutes before the running of the cup – stunning the crowd and industry participants on course. The scratchings included four prepared by local trainer Emma Stewart.

Stewart left the track immediately but paused long enough to slam the industry in which she has risen to the top of over the past decade. “This is beyond a joke. This is why Victoria is so far behind the rest of Australia,” she told the Ballarat Advertiser. Stewards informed all trainers at the Cup meeting that a model of UFO-branded sulkies were no longer permitted to be used in races after they were declared by Harness Racing Australia to be too wide.

As if that wasn’t enough drama for the night, Im Corzin Terror ($9.10) upset New Zealand champion and short-priced favourite Terror To Love ($1.04) to take out the race. Harness Racing Victoria chairman Ken Latta was also heckled during the Cup presentation ceremony, with security staff removing one patron from the grandstand. The investigation will focus on how and when the non-compliant sulkies arrived in Victoria, when Harness Racing Victoria became aware of the problem, and their response.

It will also consider whether the horses should have been permitted to race with alternate sulkies, or under a warning that non-compliant sulkies would not be tolerated in the future. “All parties involved have accepted that the situation at the Ballarat Pacing Cup was handled poorly,” new Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said. “This investigation will ensure that the issues are addressed immediately for the benefit of the harness racing industry and all involved.” A report will be handed to the minister by March 2015.

 

Today’s racing (December 19): Moonee Valley (Vic – good 4), Morphettville (SA – good 4), Yarra Glen (Vic – good 4), Bathurst (NSW – good 4), Ipswich (Qld – soft 5), Sunshine Coast (Qld – soft 7), Lismore (NSW – soft 6), Albany (WA – TBC), Hobart (Tas – soft 6). Harness racing: Albion Park (Qld), Bathurst (NSW), Globe Derby (SA), Gloucester Park (WA), Menangle (NSW), Shepparton (Vic), Wagin (NSW). Greyhound racing: Mandurah (WA), Bendigo (Vic), Geelong (Vic), Ipswich (Qld), Lismore (NSW), Mount Gambier (SA), The Gardens (NSW), Wentworth Park (NSW). Note: A reminder to punters that the new track ratings system for racing throughout the country started on December 1. The numerical 1-10 system has been retained but with a new set of descriptive terms to be used. The new system starts at firm (1) progressing through to heavy (10).

 


Confirmed bets (card finalised)

Yarra Valley R4 #5 Avenue Of Glory (win)

Bathurst R7 #6 Gatubela (win)

Lismore R7 #2 One With Bling (win)

Hobart R7 #5 Geegee Pretty Jess (win)

Morphettville R2 #2 Innovative Jill (win)

Morphettville R6 #8 Shelby Apples (win)

Moonee Valley R2 #8 For Lulu (win)

 

Yesterday’s results (W-P-LOSE or U/P): 4-0-0, +5.9 units; overall record: 269-50-323, +238.8 units

Wyong R3 #8 His Majesty (win) 1st ($2.40)

Wyong R6 #2 Zoutenant (win) 1st ($3.30)

Seymour R6 #7 Hot Ruby (win) 1st ($2.60)

Rockhampton R2 #1 The Lad’s My Dad (win) 1st ($1.60)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Sportingbet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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