THE $50,000 Bunbury Pacing Cup has been rescheduled to Friday night March 5 in a fixtures shuffle which will almost certainly guarantee a strong South West autumn racing carnival atmosphere.
Harness officials confirmed yesterday the country feature would highlight a stand-alone meeting on the eve of thoroughbred racing’s $120,000 Bunbury Stakes and $120,000 Bunbury Cup.
Gloucester Park administrators have agreed to postpone a Caduceus Club Classic program by 24 hours and it will be conducted as a Saturday night fixture on March 6.
In the past 12 years, Bunbury Pacing Cups have been programmed in November or December as lead-ups to Gloucester Park summer carnivals.
“We’re very excited to be running our pacing cup on Bunbury Stakes and Bunbury Cup eve,” Bunbury Trotting Club business manager Jonathan Calver said yesterday. “This is expected to create a popular two-meeting carnival which will be highly attractive to fans of both codes.
“We’re grateful to Gloucester Park for moving their Caduceus Club Classic fixture and allowing Bunbury harness racing to have a standalone cup meeting.”
Gloucester Park CEO Michael Radley said his committee did not hesitate to help promote the Bunbury carnival.
“We’ve had a good relationship with Bunbury Trotting Club and their Donaldson Park track,” Radley said. “In recent years, we run Inter Dominion heats there and also conducted city meetings at Bunbury while Gloucester Park was being upgraded.
“The two days of pacing and racing in Bunbury will revive memories of the city’s historic race-round week.”
Champion pacers Village Kid (1987) and Im Themightyquinn (2010) won Bunbury Pacing Cups.
Meanwhile, trainer Gary Hall’s Golden Nugget prospect Silent Major makes his Gloucester Park debut in this Friday night’s $125,000 4YO Classic.
The $200,000 Golden Nugget is on February 12.
Silent Major won at Pinjarra last Monday when having his first start since a fourth in the $130,000 Vicbred 3YO colts and geldings final at Melton on December 31.
“He rated 1:56.6 at Pinjarra after having his preparation disrupted by travel and he’s a strong Nugget contender,” Hall said.
The Hall-trained Prince Of Pleasure is at $15 in the Nugget’s all-in markets. However, Hall said Prince Of Pleasure had injured a tendon and would not start in the Nugget.