BENDIGO Jockey Club has taken the race day experience to another level with the unveiling of its new big screen.
The club, in partnership with the State Government, has spent $320,000 on installing the screen, which was operational for the first time on Thursday.
It followed extensive testing earlier in the week.
BCJ chief executive officer Aaron Hearps said the screen was expected be 100 per cent for next month’s big Beach Party race day on October 21 and giant Bendigo Cup day on November 1.
The 59 square-metre big screen provides prime views of the on-track action for punters throughout the course.
Meanwhile, top trainer Darren Weir claimed the training honours on Thursday’s eight-race program with a winning double.
Weir struck early in the day with Oaks favourite Anchor Bid ($2.40 favourite) winning first-up from an eight week spell over 1600m.
It was the three-year-old daughter of High Chaparral’s second win from five starts and second in a row.
Anchor Bid shot to prominence in July, when second behind Caulfield Guineas favourite Royal Symphony over 1600m at Flemington and is likely to have firmed as Oaks favourite following a classy win.
Weir followed up with a win with Leather’n’lace in a benchmark 64 over 1300m.
The three-year-old filly has also won at her past two runs, including a victory at Warrnambool late last month.
Weir narrowly missed out on a treble, when Minoan Spirit was pipped on the post by the Cranbourne-trained galloper Sully in the final event on the program.
The three-year-old gelding looked to have cost himself a win when he veered sharply towards the running rail from his outside post 200m from home, but was able to recover under some strong riding by Zac Spain to claim a second straight win from four starts.
Meanwhile, the Victoria Derby is on the radar for Anthony Freedman following the impressive maiden win of Tavistock Abbey early on the eight-race card.
The gelding provided a highlight for his owners, some who were involved with former champion galloper Super Impose.
Jockey Luke Currie wore the same black, white and red colours made famous by the eight-time Group One winner during his 74-race career, that included 20 wins and 32 placings.
“John (Newman) asked for the horse to be in his colours, we thought it might be a stroke of luck,” Freedman Racing manager Brad Taylor told broadcaster Racing.com.
“First day in them he’s come out and done that.
“Hopefully he can continue on that run.”