By Jonny Turner
Organisers are hailing Friday’s inaugural Fast10 meeting at Addington a success.
The concept saw fields of ten horses run in mobile races in quickfire success under the Fast10 model designed by Canterbury owners Glenn Hames and Tony Russell.
The pair spent two years refining the concept which they branded as harness racing’s version of Twenty20 cricket.
Hames declared the first running of the event as a raging success.
Addington Raceway general manager Brian Thompson also gave the meeting a tick of approval.
Thompson said turnover figures from the inaugural Fast10 race day were positive.
“Turnover was positive and it was what we were hoping for.”
A healthy crowd enjoying an array of on-track entertainment and promotion developed as part of the Fast 10 concept.
Attendance numbers were another plus Addington took out of Friday’s meeting.
“I think the people that were there enjoyed it and I think it brought a few people that hadn’t been here before to Addington because of the reduced time,” Thompson said.
“I would put it down as a success, for sure.”
“We will definitely support Fast10 and we will support other clubs looking at it as well.”
Seeing trainers, drivers and officials work together to ensure the meeting ran smoothly under its shorter than usual 18 minute gaps between races was especially pleasing, Thompson said.
“It was especially pleasing seeing all the trainers and drivers – and even the track guys too – there was a sense of urgency with everyone working together to get the best result.”
Hames was in the stable throughout the meeting and got to see first-hand how trainers and drivers pitched in to make the quickfire meeting work.
“I was in the stables and the feedback I got from the trainers and drivers was great.”
“We were tested, there were two false starts and an enquiry and we still ran to time.”
Hames said he received strong feedback from across the harness racing industry yesterday.
“I couldn’t have been happier,” Hames said.
“It was a real vibrant feel and I was really happy with how it went.”
“Everyone across the industry was so positive and I had people ringing me up and saying well done.”
The quickfire meeting’s early running, between 11.52am and 2.34pm, meant it was able to be shown on Australia’s prime racing channel, Sky1.
The expanded audience was another reason for the meeting’s success, Hames said.
Hames and Russell are eager to try the Fast10 concept again soon.
“We can’t wait,” Hames said.
“We have had some clubs approach us about the idea.”
“We don’t want to take over traditional racing, we just was to make it a bit more exciting on the odd occasion.”
The pair have taken elements of the Fast10 idea to work on and refine.
Working on marketing a meeting with New Zealand’s top drivers was one idea that came out of yesterday’s event.
“We wouldn’t mind having ten horses, ten races and ten top drivers just for a day.”