Pink day at races

May 19, 2017

Special moment: Noelene Ackerly lights the candle for Soroptimists International whilst members Karen Bruce, Jenny Gaylard and Pam O'Dwyer watch on.

Great event: Cobram Secondary College's jazz band and Advance students were out and about on Community Pink Ribbon Day.

Ceremony: Charles Ewart, Nikkita Ross, HRV chief executive David Martin, Donna Castles and Tim McCurdy.

Helping hands: Randall Jones was proud of the wonderful efforts of the Cobram Secondary College ADVANCE class helping out on Community Pink Ribbon Day.

Special cause: Tim McCurdy watches on as Donna Castles lights the Candle of Hope on behalf of all sufferers and Nikkita Ross lights the candle on behalf of Harness Racing Victoria.

Fantastic cause: Harness Racing Victoria chief executive David Martin meets up with the local bowlers who were at the track to support a worthy cause.

Cobram Harness Racing’s Community Pink Ribbon Ladies Day was a winner for the McGrath Foundation, with $20000 being raised.

The participating Harness Racing Girls raised $16000 alone in the Missile sulky raffle spear-headed by Ardmona reinswoman Donna Castles.

Breast-care nurse Michelle Parish, representing the McGrath Foundation, said the result was a fantastic effort by all concerned.

Newly-appointed Harness Racing Victoria chief executive David Martin drew the raffle, won by Jack Trainor from Menangle.

Pink was the order of the day for race-goers who came to support the cause.

The race meeting opened with a candle lighting ceremony led by State Member for Ovens ValleyTim McCurdy. Other candles were lit by Marilynne Cleveland, representatives from women’s groups and service clubs and Cobram Secondary College students.

The Cobram Secondary College Jazz Band under the leadership of music director Justin McLaren played for patrons, while the college’s Advance team, under the leadership of Randall Jones, welcomed patrons, took charge of gate duties and folded the thousands of raffle tickets.

A special feature was Fashions on the Field, sponsored by Cobram Sit’n’Sew, Cobram Shoex, Daisy Cow Natural Products with Cobram & District Artists Society and Cobram Newsagency providing the pink sashes for winners.

A sweep on the Antica Murrina Paul Roberts Lady Drivers Race for the female patrons saw Nikkita Ross, Alex Monk and Jean Sartoria from Deniliquin draw the first, second and third horses to take home the cash.

Marilynne Cleveland presented the Antica Murrina Jewellery to a delighted Tiana McMahon who saluted in the lady drivers race with Lights And Music for the Godden family from Nanneella.

Winners in the Cobram Harness Racing raffle were: Betty Jarrett, Carol Cooper, Elise Sanger, Thomas Gilligan, Sally McManus, Damian Hyde, AAA Woolbuyers, Ted and Maria Gorman, Donna Davidson and Wayne Talent.

Special thanks to Artavilla Emporium, T&J Meats, Mitre 10, Bisley Work Wear and Bernie O’Kane who sold tickets.

Cobram Harness Racing is appreciative of the support received by the community in its efforts to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.          

Young reinswoman Tiana McMahon was the toast of the track when she saluted on 9YO gelding Lights And Music for Nanneella owner/trainer Colin Godden in the Antica Murrina Paul Roberts Invitation Lady Drivers Race at Cobram’s Pink Ribbon Harness Racing Meeting.

A delighted McMahon was presented with jewellery by Marilynne Cleveland, which was sponsored by Antica Murrina and Paul Roberts Jewellers.

The Godden family took home a set of pink hobbles donated by Trot Pace and $300 worth of products donated by Ranvet. Michelle Godden accepted the owners trophy donated by Cobram Harness Racing Club and the trainer’s awards on behalf of her husband Colin.

The second and third-placed trainers, namely Dave Farrar (Kialla) and Bryce Campbell (Wagga Wagga) received a horse rug donated by Saddleworld Shepparton and a headstall in the theme colours of the day donated by Avenel Rug & Harness.

Wearing the McGrath Foundation colours, Stacey Towers made sure the race meeting was all about the ladies when she saluted in the Cobram CWA Trotters Handicap with 8YO mare Chevaux Rainbow trained by her partner Mark Lee for the Towers family over The Majestic NZ and Dabbsey in a tight finish.

A difficult wide, second row barrier draw proved no obstacle for the Tallygaroopna reinswoman when she powered home in a brilliant drive, winning the ‘Drive of the Day’ award.

The McGrath Foundation colours also proved to be a lucky charm in the Rotary Club of Cobram 2YO Pace for the girls when Rebecca Bartley, piloting long shot Scrawl for Wahring trainer Danny Thackeray, triumphed over all-the-way leader Roll Along Styx NZ, reined by Nathan Jack, in an exciting photo finish.

Bartley’s drive saw her collect the Janelle Bunfield Encouragement Award along with luggage donated by the Rotary Club of Cobram for the winning owners.

A successful afternoon on the track picking up several minor placings as well saw Bartley take home a $200 jewellery voucher after scoring the highest tally in the prestigious Xerri Evans Aggregate Lady Driver Award.

Monique Burnett kept the flag flying for the ladies with a fantastic drive on Barooga Buster to salute in the prestigious Moira Shire Pace for Tasmanian owners and Bullengarook trainer Grant Hodges over the Marungi-trained and Cobram’s 2016 Horse of the Year, Tally Operator.

In a head-to-head battle down the home straight with Provocator driven by Matt Newberry hot on their heels, Barooga Buster snatched the honours and the magnificent Moira Shire trophy by a NK in a photo finish as well as delivering a training double to Hodges in the fastest mile rate of the meeting; 1:56.6.

Moira Shire Mayor Gary Cleveland and chief executive Mark Henderson presented an inscribed silver tray and champagne glasses to Grant Hodges, accepting on behalf of the owners.

Earlier, Hodges had reined 4YO mare Lorimermara in the Cobram Lions Club Pace to an easy win after racing to the lead at the top of the home straight.

Cobram Lions president Olga Parry presented the trophy.

The first on the program was a success story for the Newberrys’ Bunbartha stables when Thrilling Jolt reined by Matt Newberry returned to the winner’s circle after time in the wilderness; overcoming odds-on favourite, Elmore-trained Calaquendi to win at great odds in the Cobram and District Spinners and Weavers Pace.

Cobram and District Spinners and Weavers president Letty Stem and Rhonda Elzinga presented the trophy to winning owner/trainer, John Newberry.

Riverina visitors, trainer David Kennedy and talented reinsman Blake Jones, hopped the border for their share of the spoils on offer.

On a day when the race favourite’s party was hijacked, 4YO mare Flowers brilliantly reined in a well-rated drive by Jones snatched the money and the Soroptimists International Cobram-Barooga trophy in a thrilling five-way photo finish by HFNK over American Rock, Mana Master, Caesareal and Flaneur.

Later 3YO filly Rollnlombo saluted for the Riverina team at great odds over yet another favourite, the Yarrawonga-owned Sheza Sportsgirl in the Cobram-Barooga Apex Club 3YO Pace to return home to Narrandera with the money and Apex prize.

The last on the program, the Barooga Lions Club Pace, finished on a high note for the ladies when Stanhope trainer Gary Pekin saluted in style on the 7YO mare Illawong Fantasia for his wife Jane to take home a trophy from Barooga Lions Club.

Cobram Harness Racing Club expresses its sincere appreciation to the Cobram and district business community, service clubs and women’s groups who continue to generously support and ensure the success of the Community Pink Ribbon event for the McGrath Foundation.

Special thanks also to Ranvet for their continued wonderful support of the day, sponsoring products valued at $300 for each winning trainer and to Carbine Chemicals who likewise sponsor products for every participating trainer in the Invitation Lady Drivers Race.

●The next race meeting on Thursday, May 25 features the Peter Haag Memorial 3YO Pace carrying an inscribed rug for the winning owner, $500 Beaurepaires voucher for winning trainer and $50 Voucher for the winning reinsman donated by the Haag Family.

Also featuring on the program is the Ken and Marjory Wadeson 2YO Pace, the Katunga Clydesdale Hotel Trotters Handicap and the Motor Mega Vehicle Spectacular Pace, while a special Car and Motorcycle Club’s Mega Vehicle Display — vintage to modern — will be a trackside feature at the race meeting.    

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