BTC keen to build on high profile race for the battlers

THE BIG STAGE: Group 1-winning jockey Dean Yendall will ride in The Hotham. He has been booked to partner Brooke Schreuder-trained Bellwhist in the race.

THE BIG STAGE: Group 1-winning jockey Dean Yendall will ride in The Hotham. He has been booked to partner Brooke Schreuder-trained Bellwhist in the race.

Ballarat Turf Club chief executive Lachlan McKenzie says he will be doing everything he can to convince Racing Victoria and online bookmakers sportsbet.com.au to continue with The Hotham in Ballarat in 2018 and beyond.

The race hasn’t even been run, but has gained widespread interest in racing circles.

The 12 worst performed horses from more than 150 nominations have gained a start in the $50,000 event for maidens over 1200m. Four emergencies have also been selected in case of any scratchings.

Tatura-trainer Dean Boal will saddle up arguably the biggest of the battlers in Beau Dazzle, who is yet to claim victory from 58 trips to the races.

From the field of 12, there is a combined total of 326 runs without a win.

“Probably nothing has captured the imagination, I don’t reckon, like this. It’s probably on par with when we first announced the Clockwise Classic. It has got a similar sort of feel to it,” McKenzie said.

“But there’s something a bit different in terms of the way the public and the racing community has embraced The Hotham. It’s probably because it is for the battler.”

The Hotham field will jump at 3pm on Thursday in Ballarat.

Winning connections from the race will receive a novelty-sized trophy.

  • Ballarat fields page 34.