Cranbourne harness racing reaches 400

Cranbourne harness racing reaches 400

By Michael Floyd

The Cranbourne Harness Racing Club celebrated a significant milestone last Friday night when two-year-old pacer Smoken Ace became the 400th winner produced at the club’s training centre.

On debut for former New Zealander Kyle Marshall, Smoken Ace defied a significant betting drift to defeat odds-on favourite The Bigboss to bring up the milestone.

“I couldn’t be happier for Kyle and for everyone at the centre,” said club President David Scott.

“To see the success our trainers are having now is a fantastic endorsement of what the facility set out to achieve when it opened a decade ago.”

The Centre opened in 2012 with the goal of providing a facility for professional, semi-professional and hobby trainers to participate in the sport without the significant cost associated with purchasing and maintaining their own private establishment.

The site is currently home to 15 trainers and over 60 horses, and with 30 winners already this season it is on track to break its previous record of 56 winners in a calendar year.

Such is the success of the centre, trainers from interstate and overseas have relocated to Cranbourne, including the centre’s most recent addition, Kyle Marshall, who moved from New Zealand to pursue a career in the sport earlier this year.

“Kyle has really hit the ground running since arriving at Cranbourne,” Scott explained.

“It was a big step for both Kyle and his partner Sophie to leave New Zealand to try and make a career in the sport.

“There are no guarantees in racing, but they’re certainly going the right way about making it work for them, just as fellow kiwis Craig and Tony Jamieson did when they moved to Cranbourne from New Zealand 12 months ago.”

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The centre has enjoyed considerable success at the upper echelon of the sport.

The first Cranbourne-trained black type winner came when Kira Joy claimed the group 2 Vicbred Platinum Pace in September 2014, while its first group 1 winner landed when Michael Hughes’s 2016/17 Australian 3YO Trotter of The Year, Cruisin Around, captured the Breeders Crown and Vicbred Super Series finals.

More recently, Jayne Davies ended her first season at Cranbourne with victory in the group 1 Vicbred Super Series with stable flag bearer Captain Bellasario.

Also, the immensely popular Bulletproof Boy has recorded multiple group 2 victories since trainer Scott Ewen relocated from South Australia and has now amassed over $400,000 in earnings.

While Scott was rightfully proud of the group race success achieved out of the centre, he was equally pleased with the opportunities the centre provides to trainers at all stages of their careers both on and off the training track.

“Jayne (Davies) is a legend of the sport, and when she and her partner Noel decided to sell their Clyde property, they were able to remain involved in the sport by relocating to the Cranbourne Training Centre,” Scott said proudly.

“Not only are they able to stay involved in harness racing, but they are able to share their knowledge with people making their way in the sport, people like Jamie Kirk who trained his first career winner earlier this year.”

The centre did not have to wait long for its 401st winner with Sir Chow scoring at Melton on Saturday night for the Jamieson brothers.

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  • June 25, 2023