A pipe dream will be realised for the Albany Harness Racing Club when its new sprint lane is unveiled at its opening meeting of the season this Friday night.
The sprint lane, which will be known as “The Trevors Carpets Sprint Lane”, has been in planning for the past two months before works were completed last week.
President Petra Moreth said that the club was looking forward to the future with the new-look track and was hoping that participants rallied behind it.
“Long-time Albany track curator Graeme (Tubby) Meston and Ken Davies raised the idea at the end of last season and it met with strong support and here we are now ready for the opening meeting,” Moreth said.
“Ron Stevens, one of our committee members designed it and then we had it professionally surveyed while another loyal supporter in Bob Poolman supplied the tractor and installed the pegs.
“The drivers utilised the sprint lane for the first time in trials yesterday and the general consensus was positive.”
Adrian Shanks, the director of Trevors Carpets in Albany, said it was an exciting time for pacing in Albany and was looking forward to racing his own horses at the track.
“I have won a few races utilising the sprint lane at Pinjarra and Kellerberrin and I think it allows for more competitive racing,” Shanks said.
Shanks, who has provided carpet installation for the club for the past eight years, will provide $100 cash incentives for the first driver and trainer to win using the sprint lane.
With the sprint lane in place, the circumference of the track is now 857m with the following changes to distances: 1832m, 2265, 2690, 2247 (stand) and 2648m (stand).
The feature event at this Friday’s meeting will be the running of the Westbred Fillies and Mares Mile, while the $20,000 Albany Cup on January 25 will highlight the season.
The club will once again be supporting the pony trots this season with two races to be held at each meeting.