ELMORE Harness Racing Club is raring to go for its one big day of the year on Boxing Day.
Hundreds of punters are expected to pour through the gates on Thursday for one of the town's major social drawcards.
The eight-race program, highlighted by the running of the 2019 Elmore pacing and trotters cups, is one of two harness racing meetings being run in Victoria on the day.
Elmore Harness Racing Club secretary Gary Cooper is tipping another great family-friendly day.
"The facilities are not what you might find in the big smoke, but what you get is that real family, country racing atmosphere," Cooper said.
"It's a really casual affair and is a great day out for all.
"Patrons can bring along the picnic basket and deck chairs and just settle in for some great racing entertainment.
"There is a barbeque and bar on course for those very important 'personal necessities', as well as on-course TAB and bookies for a bet or two.
"The kids will be well entertained with a free giant waterslide, while patrons can also win a family holiday and monster hamper giveaway.
"There is plenty of marquee and umbrella shade across the course for the public, with seating supplied."
On the track, trainer Jim and driver Shannon O'Sullivan hope to make it a family affair in the day's feature event, when Fourstarzzspecial contests the $4500 Elmore Pacing Cup.
The nine-year-old gelding has been racing solidly in much-stronger races and should offer punters good value for money at his current price of $14.
"He's a great front-runner and on that tight track he should give the track record a bit of a run for its money," Jim O'Sullivan said.
"This is a bit easier race than he's been in. His last couple of runs where he has lead over the short journey, his mile rate himself has been 1:55, which on most days he would win, but they went 1:54 and he's just got run down.
"I put him in the trials a while back over the longer journey and he ran them off their legs, so he's a free-runner.
"He should nearly lead on Thursday and he'll make it hard for them to catch him."
Favourite in the small eight-horse field will be the Laura Crossland trained mare Celerina after her recent second at Gunbower, which followed a win at Shepparton earlier this month, while the Mark Thompson-trained Dunrobbin will be looking to add to his Birchip Cup win from earlier in the year.
An Elmore Pacing Cup victory would be a first for 2017 Gordon Rothacker medallist Jim O'Sullivan, and also daughter Shannon, who has stamped herself as one of the state's top emerging young drivers.
"I've only had one starter before, but it's something I'd definitely like to win," Jim said.
"They're great (events) little country cups and they do a great job at Elmore.
"It's a fun, family day and as a trainer you like to support those days."
Entry is $10 for adults and children free. Gates open at noon, with the first race at 12.42pm.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.