Canberra Racing Club creates history
The Canberra Racing Club will embark on a history making venture this weekend with a combined thoroughbred and harness meeting to be held at Thoroughbred Park on Saturday.
Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Peter Stubbs is excited at the prospect of combining the two codes for the first time with Saturday's race meeting comprising of six thoroughbred races and three harness races.
"I think it will create a lot of interest, I know after speaking to the Canberra Harness Racing Club that their members and participants are very interested in it," Stubbs said.
"We are expecting a good turn out from the harness point of view and then adding to that on our side of things I believe it adds a different dimension to a regular raceday which should create a lot of interest from our supporters.
"We don't have many Saturday meetings in any case and this being our only Saturday meeting for this season I think it will be well attended."
While Stubbs admits Saturday will be the real test as to whether or not it can become a regular fixture in the future, he maintains confident it will prove successful.
"We have had to make a few adjustments in preparation for Saturday," Stubbs said.
"We had to move the structure of the winning post back to the Acton track and put in a temporary winning post for the thoroughbreds but apart from that it's been pretty smooth running.
"At this point in time if it is successful on Saturday then I think we will persevere with it for our Saturday meeting next year."
While the Canberra Harness Racing Club has already run some trials on the Acton track, Stubbs felt they would get a real impression of the surface when it came to running on the surface under full race conditions.
"The obvious test will be to see how the full fields in the harness races will handle racing on the Acton track and what the response is like from the trainers and drivers," Stubbs said.
"After trialling the surface last year they were all very pleased with it but we'll have to just wait and see.
"I'm pretty confident that they will be quite satisfied with it."