CHANGES to the Victorian harness racing calendar for 2018 have been embraced by the Boort and Charlton harness racing clubs.
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced on Tuesday it had approved several calendar requests for early 2018.
Among them are the Sunday, March 3 timeslot - previously Boort Cup day - which is now a Hamilton meeting.
The Hamilton club requested a Sunday timeslot to house its new sprint feature race, a $14,000 C5-M2 1660m event, in which the club is encouraging participants to try and break the track record.
“Hamilton understands it has a fast track and the club was keen to create a new race day, promoting community involvement and giving local sporting clubs the opportunity to be involved. It’s an exciting idea,” HRV general manager of racing Steve Bell said.
“We encourage clubs to think laterally when it comes to promotion of the industry, so were happy to program this race at Hamilton and support this proposal.”
Boort Cup Day has picked up the Sunday, March 17, timeslot left vacant by the move of the Charlton Cup to the Tabcorp Park Melton program on Saturday night, March 16.
“This is a win-win for both clubs as Charlton expressed a desire to race at Melton due to its $4.2 million Charlton multi-purpose facility upgrade, which won’t be finalised in time to host cup day at their venue this year,” Bell said.
“Boort Cup Day returns to its traditional timeslot, and Charlton is planning to bus people down from their local community to attend the Melton program.”
Meanwhile, the scheduled Charlton meeting will now be run at Maryborough on Monday, March 4.
“Encouraging innovation is important and the cooperation between the country clubs and HRV’s programming team in these instances is to be congratulated,” Bell said.
“These changes work in the best interests of all parties.
“We will continue to help bring ideas to life wherever possible in the interests of developing the most dynamic and exciting harness racing calendar we can.”