Napthine will announce funding: upgrade for Bray Raceway

Racing Minister Denis Napthine will today announce funding for an upgrade of the Ballarat harness racing track.

Harness Racing Victoria is calling for tenders for the project, which will increase the camber on the 1000-metre track and feature the construction of new fencing.

The size of the circuit will not change.

The Ballarat Pacing Cup on Friday, January 25, will be the last race meeting at Bray Raceway before work begins early next month.

The project is scheduled to take about a month in readiness for a re-opening in March.

This will be the first upgrade on the Ballarat track since it was extended to 100 metres in 1992.

Dr Napthine’s visit to Bray Raceway this morning launches a big day for the Ballarat and District Trotting Club, which continues its centenary celebrations with an eight-event race meeting tonight.

The club committee marked 100 years since its formation on December 9 last month.

Tonight’s program celebrates the centenary of the club’s first race meeting at Buninyong on January 18, 1913.

BDTC president Greg Moy will be joined by past presidents Paul James, Pat Prendergast, Brian Frawley and Peter Dow for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the milestone on what also is a members’ night.

Group 1 winner Our Femme Fatale makes her return for Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart in the opening event, the Tanya Daniels Three-Year-Old Pace, 1710m.

The filly’s earnings sit on $99,980 after six wins last season, including the Vicbred Super Series final.

Our Femme Fatale has not raced since the end of last season when unplaced in the Australasian Breeders Crown and is the latest of the Stewart stable of stars to the return to the track.

Our Femme Fatale, which won a trial in Ballarat on January 6, should comfortably account for her rivals on class.

Must Be Nice should run the quinella, having run third in the Australian Pacing Gold final last season.

Stewart looks in for another big night and set to increase her lead in the BDTC trainers’ premiership.

Fresh from wins with Timeseel ($2 favourite) in a three-year-old pace final on Saturday night and Restrepo ($1.30 favourite) from 20m in a Central Victorian Pacing Championship at Maryborough on Monday, Stewart also has the consistent Dutch Harbour in a Food Court C1 Pace, 1710m, Metro Mike in a Country Clubs Championship heat, 2200m, and firdst-starter Yankee Rockstar in a Fashions on the Field Two-Year-Old Pace, 1710m.

Metro Mike is chasing a hattrick of wins for owners David and Desleigh Parish from Coghills Creek, but runs in Amajorjo, which has won five in a row for Hamilton trainer David Lewis and is part-owned by Ballarat’s Wayne Krause.