Horsemen who won races at the last harness meeting on grass at Gore 37 years ago have horses in contention for a return to that surface on March 9.
Allan McVicar, of Chatton, and John Cox, of Winton, both drove winners at the Gore meeting on grass on Friday, February 25, 1977. McVicar drove Danger Point to win a maiden trot for Gore owner-trainer, G D Miller.
Cox drove Paula Brigade to win the main race, the $2000 Gore Town and Country Club Handicap. Paula Brigade was trained by Cox's father, Harry for Mr R D Campbell.
Cox, training in partnership with Tracey McGrannachan, is viewing a start at Gore for trotters Lucie de Gerolstein and Perfect Sunrise.
''The grass may just suit Lucie De Gerolstein,'' said Cox, who intends to start her afresh at Winton on Tuesday,
She has not raced since early December and Cox has taken over her training from his son, Jonny. Lucy de Gerolstein won a maiden trot at Forbury Park in May.
McVicar has won two races as an owner-trainer-breeder this season with Char Do Neigh. Brent Barclay has been the driver.
Peter Ischia, of Gore raced Benjarbee, who won the final event on a nine-race card at the grass track meeting in 1977.
Benjarbee was trained at Gore by Dave Kerr and driven by his son, Russell. Benjarbee had run stablemate Calton Hill to a neck in the Festival Four-Year-Old Championship at Forbury Park two starts earlier.
The Gore Harness Racing Club, spearheaded by promotions manager, Pam Norman and president Chris Wilson, are leaving no stone unturned to make a success of the meeting.
Fashions in the field and other competitions with valuable prizes are on the agenda and marquees have been arranged for 500 persons. There will be non-totalisator events in saddle for both pacers and trotters.
The ace New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn will be driving and riding. He has won a non-tote race in saddle in Southland.
Brian O'Connor, who died in May, can take credit for the win of Tachma at Ascot Park last week. O'Connor qualified Tachma at Forbury Park in April and started the mare in seven workouts or trials. He died three weeks after she qualified. The 5-year-old daughter of Peruvian Hanover is now raced by his estate and trained at Forbury Park by Darryn Simpson. O'Connor was best known as a trainer of Kelly Evander, who started in 160 races over nine seasons without winning.
- © Fairfax NZ News