Sprint lane opens the field at paceway
A new sprint lane will be the major addition to Harold Reid Paceway as the new Albany Harness Racing Club season kicks off this Friday.
The unveiling of the Trevor’s Carpets Sprint Lane will officially happen tomorrow as the 2019-20 season commences with a nine-race card.
Completed last week, the sprint lane comes on the back of many months of discussion and planning.
AHRC will run 10 meetings from December through to March next year.
Local trainer and Trevors Carpets director Adrian Shanks, approached the club to have the lane named after his business.
“We have done a bit of work with the club, so I approached the club to ask if the lane was available to be named,” Shanks said. “We have sponsored a lot out there, so they accepted my offer.
“The lane has brought a bit of a split between owners, trainers and drivers.
“A lot of people call it the cheat lane, but if you get stuck behind a slow one, it’s good to be able to sneak up the inside.”
Shanks believes the sprint lane can add another dimension to racing at the venue.
“I have won a few races utilising the sprint lane at Pinjarra and Kellerberrin and I think it allows for more competitive racing,” he said.
“Because it’s a split decision about the new lane, I will provide $100 cash incentives for the first driver and trainer to win using the sprint lane.
“Hopefully, this encourages more trainers and drivers to use the sprint lane.”
It was a strong first season as a trainer for Shanks, preparing seven winners.
He will have nine runners in action tomorrow and says The Frame rates as his best chance in the Trevors Carpets Pace (2265m).
A strong field of 10 runners is assembled for the feature race on the opening card, the $10,000 Bennetts Batteries Albany Westbred Fillies & Mares Mile (1832m).
The $20,000 Albany Cup on January 25 is the club’s major drawcard. AHRC president Petra Moreth said the club was looking forward to the future with the new-look track.
“It’s a very slight change to the distance of the track,” she said.
“It’s only a matter of metres but will be beneficial to the racing this season.
“Having this new sprint lane is going to open up the betting a lot more and give everyone a chance to get the right run.”
Club members Graeme Meston and Ken Davies have been integral to getting the sprint lane happening. Moreth said the season promised to be exciting.
“The season looks like it’s going to be a very competitive one,” she said.
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