20 September 2013 - The Committee of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club has signed a new three-year partnership with Bendigo Pacing Cup sponsor Petstock Animal Supplies. Petstock has been the Club’s principal sponsor since 2010 with the Group 2 Bendigo Pacing Cup their main event. This month the Club again signed Petstock as the Cup’s naming rights sponsor for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Club president Dennis Bice said the new agreement is significant to the Club’s business plan and he welcomed Petstock’s continued partnership with the Club’s feature race. “We are thrilled that Petstock will continue to sponsor the Pacing Cup for the next three years and we look forward to working with the entire Petstock team to give the company prime brand exposure at each of our harness race meetings,” Mr Bice said. Petstock’s Chris Walker has been closely associated with the Club during the past sponsorship agreement including having a hands on roll as a Club committeeman last financial year.
“We value our partnership with harness racing in Victoria and are pleased to have both the Bendigo Pacing Cup and Ballarat Pacing Cup in our sponsorship stable,” Mr Walker said. “Petstock sees increased branding opportunities with harness racing and we have been encouraged by the level of support we have been receiving from local trainers and members during our sponsorship arrangement with Bendigo over the past three years. “We look forward to the continued support from the harness industry and the Bendigo Cup event and profile growing over the next three years. “The Bendigo Pacing Cup race night and promotion makes for an outstanding event and we are very excited to be a part of its ongoing growth, which we believe will ultimately help establish the Pacing Cup as a Group One race in years to come.” The BHRC will, for the first time, host a Bendigo Pacing Cup Eve Cocktail night to celebrate the feature event and recognize, sponsors and competitors at the All Season’s Hotel on Friday 10 January. The 2014 Group 2 Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup will raced on Saturday night 11 January.
19 September 2013 - Just 10 days ago, prolific Bendigo standardbred broodmare Classic Kate died peacefully at the grand old age of 32 years, surrounded by her 20 year-old son Sports Dancer and 10 year-old grandson Real Impact.
Classic Kate was a Batman mare out of Gay Debutante and was purchased as a yearling by Bendigo trainer and breeder Garry Graham and long time friend, Eddie Jenkins. She won six races including the 3yo Sires Stakes Semi Final at Moonee Valley and in excess of $21,000 (30 years ago). In the breeding barn, Classic Kate superseded her racing performances. She had her first foal in 1988, New York Dancer, and her last foal in 2005, Leica Dancer. In total, she had 14 foals (two of which died young), 9 of them were fillies, and she managed to outlive her two eldest daughters. The Graham's are still breeding out of four of her daughters and now also two of her granddaughters.
She is the only mare to have five of her descendants as finalists in the Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Series including:
Classic Kate is also the grandmother of top race horses Hexham Heartbeat, Whata Impact, Real Impact, Earls Court, Black Legacy, Otaktay, Sidney Shaw, as well as the top juveniles of 2009 and 2010, Modern Girl and 2010 Horse of the Year Royal Verdict, which won three Group 1, 2yo races that season.
The combined earnings of all named descendants from Classic Kate is in excess of $1.5million. This includes a $500,000 + earner in her grandson Royal Verdict ($531,187) and three $100,000 + earners including Classic Kate's son Sports Dancer ($162,018), granddaughter Modern Girl ($122,135) and her great grandson, West Australian, Sir Jasper ($100,101). Another soon likely to join the $100,000 + club is granddaughter, Victorian mare Hexham Heartbeat, which is on the cusp of the $100,000 earnings. Classic Kate's descendants boast several Group winners between them including;
17 September 2013 - Local trotting mare Waikare Patricia has been honoured by Harness Racing Australia with the "Aged Trotting Mare of the Year" Award. The Longlea-owned mare, trained by Graham McDermott had an outstanding year winning 8 of her 16 starts and earned just shy of $100,000 on the track. The mare's lifetime earnings are over $120,000. Waikare Patricia stands in elite company as a Vancleve Trotting Award recipient. Others to get gongs this year were Vulcan (Australian Trotter of the Year and Aged Trotter- Horse/Gelding of the Year); Blitzthemcalder (3yo Trotter Colt/ Gelding of the Year); Habibti (3yo Trotting Filly of the Year); Im Stately 2yo Trotter Colt Gelding of the Year) and Claudy Princess (2yo Trotter of the Year). Waikare Patricia is a credit to McDermott who he himself can boast having an outstanding pedigree. He is a third generation horseman who trains a boutique racing team. He established himself within Victoria’s highly competitive training ranks from his base at the same Longlea property (near Bendigo) where his late father Henry prepared pacers the calibre of Gosh and Springfield Rajah. Since June 2012, Graham has fulfilled the role of number two trainer alongside renown trotting specialist Chris Lang at his stunning Nagambie farm. The Goulburn Valley opportunity has been another invaluable learning experience for the former accomplished junior driver who worked alongside some of the best trainers in the business including Graham Johannesen, John and Michael Langdon and Brian Gath before forging his own career as a specialist juvenile educator and pre-trainer. McDermott said he is over the moon at Waikare Patricia winning the award. "She has had a great year and its terrific that she has achieved this award," McDermott said. "The next 12 months for her is going to be really interesting and exciting."
McDermott's first significant training triumph was former rogue pacer Snappy Sections with whom he won 12 races in the late 1990’s and celebrated his first metropolitan victory at Moonee Valley. But he is best known in more recent times as the mentor of Romeo Castle, a winner of 20 races and over $200,000 in prize money including the Group Two Victoria Sires’ Classic and Ararat Pacing Cup. He also has a particular fondness for square gaiters and brought up his first Group One success in the 2011 SA Trotters’ Derby with Waikare Aristocrat, a homebred son of Inter Dominion placegetter Waikare Gold who also finished runner-up in The Holmfield at Group Three level as a three-year-old.
But its been Waikare Aristocrat’s half sister Waikare Patricia which flown the stable flag with distinction and now honour during the 2012/13 season. The daughter of Last Sunset won the Fonterra Dairies Vicbred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Group last December, then raced in great form before taking at the Vicbred Platinmum Metropolitan Trot Final Group 2 in May. The mare capped her year winning the Glenferie Farm Kahdon Trot Group 2 in June. Aside from his training commitments – both for the Lang stable and a small group of private clients including Raceapacer - McDermott is a strong supporter of his wife Tanya’s work with the Northern Standardbred Riding Group and re-educating and rehoming standardbreds for a life outside racing as pleasure horses. - David Aldred with the files of Raceapacer.
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