Harness racing at Maitland Showgrounds on Saturday

A strong local contingent is raring to put on a show at the Maitland Showground with the venue to host the first of five scheduled meetings on Saturday night.
Nanjing Night Net

Guy Chapple is part of a strong local training contingent with runners at Maitland Showground on Saturday night.

A number of local trainers and drivers will be in action across the eight-race program including East Maitland trainer-driver Rob Hosking, Louth Park father and son Darren and Brad Elder, father and daughter duo Rex and Laura Spencer and Louth Park’s Guy Chapple.

Keinbah trainer and Newcastle and Metropolitan premiership winner Shane Tritton has not entered any runners and will instead head to Menangle for the Group 3 Aristocrat Pace.

Maitland Harness Racing Club secretary Wayne Smith said there was a strong local flavour to the first meeting of the season.

“The locals have nominated in abundance,” he said. “We’ve got eight races and plenty of local content amongst it.

“People will see a lot of familiar names, all our usual suspects with the likes of Elder, Brewer, Chapple, Hosking, Spencer.

“There are a couple of Tamworth trainers, but for the most part it is a strong Maitland influence and Cessnock as well.”

Three of the five scheduled Maitland meetings will be held on a Saturday night, with two of those on long weekends.

The fourth meeting on January 3 will feature the Inter City Pace final while the final meeting will be on the Saturday night of the Easter Long Weekend in April.

Smith said the club had come a long way since losing regular TAB meetings in 2005.

“Who would have thought we would get three Saturday night meetings after where we were,” he said.

“Seven years ago we were in no man’s land, so to land three is great.

“Two of those are on long weekends as well.”

Smith said he hoped for a healthy crowd on Saturday night.

“We’ve been very lucky to jag a long weekend in October and another in April and the forecast is fine,” he said.

“We have four mini trots races as well, we’re looking forward to it.”

Racing starts at 6.59pm.

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