JUMPS racing will have a bigger presence in Ballarat next year.
Ballarat Turf Club will run eight events in jumps racing’s second season back at Dowling Forest Racecourse.
The BTC was allocated five hurdle races at the start of last season, but finished up running six.
Racing Victoria has again allocated five hurdle races to Ballarat and added three steeplechases.
The eight events will be programmed over four meetings, with two at each – April 11, May 12, July 4 and July 17.
BTC chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said the returning of jumps racing to Dowling Forest this year had been a resounding success.
He said as well as providing an added spectacle, the safety record on the track in these events had been second to none.
“We didn’t have one horse fall.
“One rider was dislodged. That was it.”
The club is also planning to cater for jumpers and stayers outside the jumping season with a series of 3000-metre events.
The first of these will be run tomorrow – James & Son Showcase BM78 Handicap, 3000m, which is the fifth event on a nine-race program.
McKenzie said the staying event had been introduced after an approach from the training fraternity looking for lead-up events to 2500m and 3000m events at Moonee Valley night meetings.
The 3000m races will begin in the 1200m chute and be run on the inner track.
Tomorrow’s 3000m event has attracted 12 acceptors, including four with jumping experience.
This quarters includes the Darren Weir-trained Eightways, which returns to the flat after producing a win and three minor placings from four jumps starts.
The staying test has attracted a handy field, including in-form Morphettville winner Magus from the Tony McEvoy stable; Burning Eye, which has won his past two starts; and Love Or Gold for Bill and Symon Wilde.