Harness trials set for revival – Australia News


Graham Fischer

A DECADE after being steamrolled by the Northern Expressway, the Gawler Harness Racing Club is ready to notch another significant mark on its comeback.

The club will stage official trials at its new 14-hectare property on Two Wells Road on Sunday, September 3, and will continue to hold trials every second Sunday thereafter.

Gawler Harness Racing Club chairman Peter Bain said past and current committee persons could be proud of the trial day.

“It has been a long road, with a few speed humps, but the staging of official trials is a major achievement in the club’s history,” Mr Bain said.

“When the club was flattened by the compulsory acquisition of our previous 27-hectare track, on Weaver Road, the committee set on a path to building a new track with the goal to, eventually, conduct trials, and next Sunday it will become a reality.”

Mr Bain said, when it was announced that trials would be held, the most asked question was whether race meetings would ever be conducted at the track.

“That decision is in the hands of the sport’s controlling body, Harness Racing South Australia,” he said.

“When our previous property was compulsorily acquired, and we ended up in 2008, the club was told we would be compensated to enable the club to replicate what we had.

“We said it would cost up to $10 million, but the compensation was only $3.8 million.

“So far, we have spent $3.25 million to get to the stage where we can hold trials.

“To have the track ready for racing will cost around another $5 million, so our estimate at the time of closure was pretty close to the mark.”

Mr Bain said, for racing to be conducted, another barn would need to be…

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