Friday 27th of October 2017, will be written into the history books, thanks to the current committee of HRSA getting back to its roots. The Wayville Retro meeting, was the first meeting held at the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds since 1973 and it was an astounding success. Social media is buzzing with racegoers sharing their praise, experience of Friday night and their memories of the past. The meeting was a roaring success and deemed as the biggest crowd for SA harness racing in the last 20 years. Whilst the crowd was not close to the record 47000 reached in 1963, it is estimated to have reached 8000-10000, which is phenomenal in an era where offcourse and online betting steal crowds from the trackside.
In the Halcyon days Wayville was known as a tricky, action packed track and Friday night was a test for both Horse and Driver. Testament to this was a minor incident in the first race which saw Wayne Hill tipped out around the home turn. In a great show of horsemanship he managed to hold onto his horse and all walked away unharmed. All the drivers on the night were in awe of the crowd participation and electric feel that being on a small track can provide .
The Meeting coincided with the Manikato Stakes thoroughbred meeting which ensured that onsite betting outlets were kept busy and great betting value was offered with the shortest priced winner at Wayville being race 6 Hellfire Pass driven by Lance Justice paying $3.30.
The night was complimented by trackside entertainment provided by The Incredibles , great food with gourmet food trucks, a walk down memory lane with a harness racing history pavilion, and the retro night fashions on the field. It was a great display of what the sport of harness racing can bring to society. The night has me looking forward to SA CUP Night at Globe Derby in January 2018 and I’m eagerly anticipating the next Wayville meeting .
Credit: Photography Lisa Lemon