FANTASTIC racing is not the only reason to head to Ballarat on Saturday night.
With several features and heats on the card, Ballarat’s flagship evening has attracted some of the best trotters and pacers in the southern hemisphere.
Headlining the program is the Group One Ballarat Cup, which lists boom New Zealand raider Self Assured as the favourite.
Despite drawing the inside of the second row, Self Assured is at the top of the table at $2.60 with TAB Fixed Odds.
The support card includes the E B Cochran Cup, where Inter Dominion winner Tornado Valley is a $1.60 favourite from barrier nine.
Then there are the Victoria Derby and Oaks heats, which will be contested by a host of top flight three-year-olds.
While the racing action is bound to attract a strong crowd, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has added two incentives to be trackside.
Renowned for its forward thinking and generosity, the club is donating its gate takings to charity to help those devastated by the disaster.
“The club made a decision early on to donate 100 per cent of the Cup night gate takings to Wildlife Victoria, which is feeding and caring for the animals caught up in these fires,” Club chief executive Paul Rowse said.
“It is our biggest night of the year and we have been fortunate to attract strong crowds to our Cup, so it is the ideal time and meeting to support such a worthy cause.”
If that isn’t enough to encourage attendance, the club has added another incentive to be trackside.
“Each patron will receive free entry into a special draw,” Rowse said. “Later in the night we will conduct the draw and one patron will win a trip to Vanuatu valued at $3000.
“That’s our way of giving back to those who come to the meeting and help support Wildlife Victoria with their attendance.
“We haven’t forgotten families either, with plenty of activities for the kids as well.”