The Methven Trotting Club makes no secret of what it’s twilight meeting at the Mt Harding racecourse is all about.
“We have deliberately targeted the lower graded horses,” says Methven Trotting Club President Mark Lemon.
At what’s just the club’s second twilight meeting, racing starts at 3pm on Friday with nine races over either the mile or 1700 metres.
Big even fields look the order of the day with some of the province’s bigger stables opting for the two day Kaikoura meeting starting Sunday. For instance the powerful Hope and Dunn barns will line up just a few horses each.
The highest assessed horses of the day are rating 54 pacers Essence of Easton, Linton Shard and Go Davey in Race 4.
“This meeting is not about getting a big crowd – it’s more about people at the pubs on a Friday afternoon and the punter generally,” says Lemon.
It’s Methven’s third meeting this season and the first since its very successful Methven Cup day that produced a record turnover of over $1.5m.
The next big crowd on course is expected at its Christmas meeting in six weeks.
And Lemon will have a keener than usual eye on one of the races. Tyke, a Terror to Love mare he co-owns and co-bred, is likely to start the favourite in race 5. She’s had a second and a third in seven starts for trainer-driver Gerard O’Reilly.
“She’s certainly been knocking on the door, that last race at Oamaru (second to Penelope Bromac October 18) was her best yet.”
Lemon hoping she’ll go one better.
“There’s nothing like winning a race on your home track if you can do it.”