Former star pacer Bitobliss, now retired, is a former winner of the Central Victorian Pacing Championship.
The 2016 edition of the Central Victorian Pacing and Trotting Championships kicks off with the running of the first round heats at the Boort at Charlton meeting tomorrow.
Entrenched as some of the most sought after titles on the country circuit, the Championships traditionally pit some of the best up-and-coming horses in country Victoria against one another with many horses being specifically targeted for the series by astute owners and trainers.
This is evidenced by some of the past winners, with the pacers division including horses such as Western Light (2000), Albert Terrill (2006), Bitobliss (2011), Restrepo (2013) and last year’s winner, Major Secret, who have all gone on to greater successes.
The trot champions list is equally impressive, past winners including Son Of Flair (2001), False Gem (2006), Just Glorious (2008), Living Bonus (2012), The Boss Man (2014) and last year’s winner, I’m Stately,
The 2016 Finals will be sponsored by the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo and will see participants compete for $20,505 in prizemoney for both Finals. Additional bonuses to the ultimate winners of both divisions will also include an inscribed rug, trophy and free stallion service donated by the Loddon Valley Stud (John and Kay Campbell) to the winning owner, plus $250 fuel cards to the winning trainer and driver.
Further qualifying heats of the pacers series – for C2 Or Better Pacers over the standing start – will be run at Maryborough on January 21 and Charlton on January 25, with the Final at the Wedderburn at Maryborough Meeting on January 31.
The trotters qualifying heats will be run at the same venues and days, being for T0 or better trotters from the standing start.
The Championships will again see the Harness Racing Training Centre Central Victorian Concession Drivers Championship run in conjunction with the series.
The Concession Drivers Series is open to concession drivers with less than 25 lifetime wins across four heats for various classes of horses at the Boort, Maryborough, Charlton and Wedderburn meetings.
The concession driver accumulating the most points across the four-race series will win the trophy.
As an encouragement to owners and trainers to make their horses available to concession drivers across the Series, there will be $200 fuel vouchers awarded to the winning trainer and driver of each heat, courtesy of the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo.
This series will also form part of the larger 20-race Concession Drivers Series sponsored by the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo and the Association Of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs, which culminates in June 2016.
All drivers in this series will also be eligible for the Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs Professional Development Award, to be presented at Breeders Crown Finals Day on Sunday August 28.
The trainer of every starter in this series will also enter a random draw for a $2000 cash prize, drawn at the Bendigo race meeting on Wednesday June 22.
A further $100 fuel voucher will be awarded to each winning heat driver across the 20-race series, making the Central Vic Series and the overall series even more attractive to concession drivers, owners and trainers.
One lucky concession driver competing across the four-race Central Victorian Concession Drivers Championship will be offered the chance to drive the legendary Smoken Up as he leads out the 2016 Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup field on Saturday, February 13.
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