Elmore-trained Midnitedelite sizzled on the track at Cobram’s harness racing meeting last week, stopping the clock for the mile rate at 1:54.8, just one-tenth of a second away from equalling the track record set by Earth Angel in 2014.
The four-year-old gelding reined by Victoria’s leading driver Greg Sugars saluted for trainer Keith Cotchin in the Tom Stillard Memorial Pace.
Aileen Williams, who donated a trophy in memory of her uncle, the club’s inaugural president and driving force behind its formation, was trackside to congratulate Shelly Cotchin, who accepted the trophy on behalf of the owners.
On a day when the club’s past presidents and foundation stalwarts Jim Cox and Bill Farrell were honoured, doubles for Glenn Douglas and Laura Crossland were also the order of the day.
Glenn Douglas scored in the Artavilla Emporium Pace with talented four-year-old gelding Firenglow, who was full of fire as he charged to the judge 5.6m clear of his rivals.
Flight Officer NZ was also full of flight, saluting in a nifty mile rate of 1:56.7 in the Katunga Lucerne Mill Pace to complete a training/driving double for Douglas.
Shepparton trainer Crossland opened her account with a brilliant win piloting Sun Classique in the Jim Skehan Memorial Pace.
Skehan’s lifelong friend Pat Carroll presented a delighted Crossland with a magnificent canteen of cutlery donated by Kate Nuttal in memory of her father Jim, a former president of the club who served the industry with distinction.
Crossland’s partner David Moran saluted a couple of races later in the Pat Brooks Memorial Pace with Lighthorse over stablemate Our Prima Regal, driven by Crossland. Crossland was delivered a training double but was denied the ultimate prize, a driving double as well.
Trackside host Rod Booker presented Moran with a beautiful dinner set donated by Jacquie Symons in memory of her father, a long-serving president of the Cobram club.
Lisa Miles led the way for the girls in the first on the program when she scored in brilliant style on the four-year-old mare Cobbler Creek for Elmore trainer Jenny Johnson in the Bill Farrell Memorial Trot.
Gary and Marie Farrell donated a trophy in honour of Bill, a well-known foundation stalwart of the club who had a special liking for the square gaiter.
Later in the afternoon, Lisa Bartley flew the flag when she piloted Victoria Pass for Leeton trainer Chris Hughes, snatching the Jim Cox Memorial Pace final in a photo finish from the Rockbank-trained Hoofnit.
Carroll presented Hughes with a crystal bowl donated by Ed Cox in memory of his father, a man who made a valuable contribution to the fledgling club over many decades.
It was yet another win for the girls when Tallygaroopna trainer Shane Gilligan reined four-year-old mare Radical Art to a classy win in the Cobram Mitre 10 Pace.
A trophy donated by the Cobram club was presented to Tony Barca, who accepted on behalf of his owner-daughter Marianne.
Not to be outdone, Kialla’s Isabel Walsh engaged talented young reinsman Mark Pitt in the cart behind the exciting Simba Bromac NZ in the Terry Daniel 3YO Pace. The pair snatched the spoils in a thrilling photo finish over Nathan Jack and Parisian Rockstar, trained by Amanda Turnbull.
Former club president Terry Daniel presented his trophy to a representative of the owners.
No doubt harness racing followers will be celebrating Turnbull’s success last Saturday night, when she reined the brilliant three-year-old Atomic Red, trained by her father, to a scorching 1:54.4 in a heat of the NSW Derby at Menangle, smashing the world record by two-tenths of a second. It was a great training feat and one of the best well rated drives one would ever see.
●The club is busy preparing for its community Pink Ribbon Ladies Day in support of the McGrath Foundation early in May.
Already several groups and business houses in the community have thrown their support behind this special charity day.
●The club’s next race meeting is on March 22 and will feature the Tom Kennedy Memorial 3YO Pace and the Allan Campbell Memorial Pace supported by the Wal Watson Memorial Pace.