Coming off the back of a highly successful feature meeting at Wayville late last year, harness racing in South Australia had experienced a gentle spike in euphoria and passion was reignited for some harness racing fans. Many of us were hopeful that the 2018 SA Pacing Cup meeting could continue the momentum and draw a great crowd.
Although negative isn’t our theme, some things need to be said. Unfortunately the hopeful euphoria faded as the night progressed. The atmosphere was filled with tension, media, industry participants and spectators were the pawns in a bitter relationship breakdown. The Globe Derby Betting ring of many years ago that is usually a buzz with children, noise and excitement resembled an abandoned warehouse, the grass where families would view the racing with their picnic rugs and eskys is now brown and desert like. Attendance was poor and the picnic feel of the SA Cup meet seem to be a distant childhood memory.
The racing was competitive, the horses were presented beautifully, trainers, drivers and connections really played their part. There was depth in racing which resulted in both locals and interstates having great success.
The SA Pacing Cup itself was an exciting race which resulted in two interstate raiders fighting it out to the line. Shadow Sax and the steamroller Messini. With the eventual winner being The Emma Stewart trained pacer Shadow Sax.
Despite the disappointment of the crowd, spectators that did attend the night, all seemed to enjoy themselves. Which just goes to show it’s not time to quit. It’s time to work together and make SA Harness Racing great again. Wayville 2017 was a good indication that it’s possible.