Ballarat District Trotting Club will fight the dumping of the Ballarat Pacing Cup from the Australasian Grand Circuit.
Determined to have the listed event reinstated, the club will lodge formal protests against the decision with Harness Racing Australia, which oversees the grand circuit, and also with Harness Racing Victoria.
“We’re not going to let this happen without a fight,” BDTC chief executive officer Paul Rowse said yesterday.
“Not only are we unhappy with the decision, we’re far from satisfied with the lack of consultation which took place throughout the review process,” he said.
The HRA formed a panel to review the grand circuit and make recommendations on its future.
Rowse said this issue affected the industry Australasia-wide and yet there appeared to have been minimal consultation with industry bodies.
He said he had spoken to numerous leading industry participants, including Lance Justice – trainer of reigning grand circuit champion Smoken Up – and prominent Queensland trainer John McCarthy, who had hands-on involvement with the grand circuit.
Rowse said Justice and McCarthy were fully supportive of the BDTC campaign to have the $150,000 Ballarat Pacing Cup retained as a grand circuit event.
A BDTC executive meeting yesterday agreed to seek an urgent meeting with HRA CEO Andrew Kelly.
Rowse said he would also continue to rally support for the club’s stance.
This will include seeking the support of the Association of Victorian Harness Racing Clubs.
The Ballarat Pacing Cup is one of the five events to lose grand circuit status.
The Fremantle Cup, Treuer Memorial (Bankstown), South Australian Pacing Cup and New Zealand Free-For-All have also been dropped.
Under the new conditions of the circuit, no state has more than two races.