8 July 2011 - The HRV Board today received an audit report assessing the facilities at the six tracks, which were closed for racing in 2005 as part of the 'V3' Strategic Plan. After considering the contents of the report, the HRV Board has resolved to support The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan For Racing by re-opening the six tracks and conducting one community race meeting per year. The tracks are located at Boort, Gunbower, Ouyen, St Arnaud, Wangaratta and Wedderburn. Chairman of HRV, Mr. Ken Latta said, "The Board resolution is subject to receiving State Government funding to reinstate racing at these venues to a standard which accords with contemporary public and participant safety requirements. The Board has also asked for further work to be undertaken to determine the timing of the reintroduction of racing at these venues given the future works required. HRV will not make any further comment until consultation has taken place with Dr Denis Napthine, Minister for Racing and the clubs concerned."
8 July 2011 - Bendigo Harness racing Club will host the Christmas in July race night on Saturday 16 July. The racenight features the Loddon Valley 2yo C&G Classic and the Loddon Valley 2yo Filly Classic. Promotions on the night include the parading of the Bendigo Advertiser Race for Fun Club filly. The filly will be poaraded by trainer Paul Campbell between races. A rising two-year-old with the stable name "Addy" the Lombo Pocket watch filly already has hundreds of fans that have registered for Race for Fun Club membership. the first 100 children on track will receive a harness racing showbag on Saturday night.
Outstanding North American pacer Art Colony, one of champion Artsplace’s fastest and richest 2yo’s to race will return to Lockwood’s Loddon Valley Stud in August to commence stud duties for a second season. Loddon Valley Stud’s principal John Campbell said the stallion which stood his debut season at Lockwood last year will return from Canada late next month. “Art Colony has just finished serving 100 mares at Winbak Farm and he will now be shipped back to us for another season,” Campbell said. Winbak breeds, raises and sells some of the North American harness racing industry’s best Standardbred horses and has studs and nurseries in Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Canada. “He stands at a higher fee at a high quality North American farm with plenty of other good stallions, so to get 100 mares there for a season says a lot about him,” Campbell said. Art Colony served 82 mares at Loddon Valley Stud last season with his first local foals due this spring. In the new breeding season, the winning owners of the Loddon Valley Stud 2yo Classic races at Bendigo’s Lord’s Raceway on 16 July will have the opportunity of breeding a mare to the exciting stallion. John and Kay Campbell have sponsored services valued at $6,000 to Art Colony for each of the 2yo Colts and 2yo Fillies Classics. During his racing career Art Colony was a star, winning $863,750 pacing a winning 1:51 mile at aged two and three years. An outstanding type, five-year-old Art Colony (Artsplace – Asleep On the Beach) stands tall at 16 hands with perfect conformation. Art Colony was a class performer and looked like being the best of his year until injury struck. He was prepared by three times O’Brien award-winner and leading Canadian trainer Casie Coleman who had the greatest admiration for the horse. “Art Colony was a gorgeous yearling, I just had to have him whatever the price,” Coleman said. “Beautifully bred with perfect manners and a perfect gait, he beat the best colts, fought tough from bad draws and could race his last quarters in 26.” “He should have won $2 million but for going amiss in the Meadowlands Pace.” Winbak Farm management echoed Coleman’s praise for Art Colony. “He is a great looking horse: big, athletic and powerful,” Winbak Farm’s Canadian manager Larry Drysdale said. Art Colony only missed the top two spots once in his injury shortened career winning five of his 13 starts and finishing runner-up on seven other occasions. The only time he didn’t earn a cheque was the night of his suspensory injury in the final of the Meadowlands. In his debut season Art Colony won four races and was beaten a nose in the Governors Cup and the final of the Breeders Crown and in his 3yo season he was runner up in the North American Cup, pacing his own mile in a sizzling 1:48.8. Art Colony’s sire, Artsplace, has the hottest siring sons in Australia including Art Major, Modern Art and Grinfromeartoear and Art Colony has a stout maternal pedigree as well with broodmare sire excellence from Beach Towel, Cam Fella, Albatross and Bye Bye Byrd. “We are excited to have him back and can’t wait for his first crop of foals to hit the ground in central Victoria,” Campbell said. Art Colony will stand for a service fee of $3000 at Loddon Valley Stud with multiple mare booking discounts available. - David Aldred