AS A step towards the future, Tasmania will take a trip back in time as trotters return to the Apple Isle on Sunday night.
In what is the first squaregaiter’s event in the state for more than nine decades, a small field will make their Tassie debut in Hobart.
The last trotting race in Tasmania was won by Lampton at Carrick in 1927, although a few squaregaiters have beaten pacers during the interim.
In December 2016 Yankee Avenue beat the opposite gait on King Island, making the gelding the first trotter to win on that side of Bass Strait since Elmo Raid in 1957.
Yankee Avenue was also successful on King Island in December 2017.
“Trotting is the most popular gait internationally, especially throughout France and in Scandinavian countries where they race trotters exclusively,” Tasracing chief Vaughn Lynch explained.
“It is an important step forward for the local industry. We are confident this will give Tasmanian harness racing the opportunity to be exported around the world.”
The hope of international interest could arrive sooner than expected given Frenchman, Germain Boisrame, is booked to partner the early favourite, Our Summer Vacation.
As part of his working holiday, Boisrame is employed by Todd Rattray, who trains Our Summer Vacation.
Transferred from the Sydney stable of Rattray’s brother, James, Our Summer Vacation is poised to begin from a 30-metre back mark.
“The handicap makes it difficult, but he goes away well, so with a bit of luck he will make the up ground quickly,” Rattray said.
“He’s been trialling and working fine and now he needs to take that to the track.
“Germain has a lot of experience with trotters, so hopefully he can nurse Our Summer Vacation and come back to scale with a win.”