TWO years after its award-winning return to Wayville meeting, Harness Racing South Australia is poised to step back in time again.
Home of South Australian harness racing from 1925 to 1973, Wayville was revived for an extravaganza on October 27, 2017.
Attracting a sell out crowd reminiscent of the halcyon days of trotting in the state, the retro program also gained valuable mainstream media coverage for the local industry, and more importantly, was a financial windfall.
Complete with food vans and an electrifying atmosphere, the evening began with Ken Rogers capturing the first race when he partnered the Leah Harvey-trained Chasing A Win.
Later on the card Kate Gath received a massive ovation when she drove Waikare Aviator to glory in the Trotters’ Cup.
Having enjoyed success in several Group Ones, Gath referred to the win as “one of the highlights of my career…up there with winning the Hunter Cup”.
While Waikare Aviator’s performance to lead throughout from the pole was impressive, it falls short of the immortal Gramel, which is deemed to have produced the greatest victory around the saucer-like circuit.
Still widely-regarded as one of the greatest trotters produced on this side of the equator, Gramel was forced to race off handicaps such as 256 yards.
Despite her mark being just 19 yards short of half the Wayville track, Gramel emerged victorious!
As for “Wayville Two”, HRSA is set to conduct the highly-anticipated evening on Friday, December 13.
Given the date’s “spookiness”, the evening’s theme is ‘Black Friday Bash’, with plenty of entertainment and fun to be experienced around the venue.
The timing also offers the industry a prime opportunity to tap into the vast festive season functions, with Christmas parties and cooperate bookings destined to be a major focus.
In a stellar move by HRSA, they are also using the meeting as a platform to raise awareness for mental health issues in the community, which will see the governing body partner with not-for-profit organisations which supply valuable support to those in need.
On the racing side, similar to the 2017 meeting, all events will be conducted as standing starts and limited to eight runners.
No doubt those who experienced the previous return to Wayville will be eager to return, while those who missed out and which to attend this time – Save The Date!