Hitting the line ... Arran Chief (near) beats Ottawa in race nine at the Kurow Harness Racing Club's annual meeting at Oamaru Racecourse last year. PHOTO: ODT FILES

Ten races have been planned for the Kurow Harness Racing Club’s annual meeting at Oamaru on Sunday, including the Kurow Cup.

The 2600m feature race on Oamaru Racecourse’s all-weather track will be the last on the programme and, with a stake of $14,500, it is hoped it will attract a strong field.

Kurow Harness Racing Club president Tony Wall said he was optimistic the club would receive enough nominations to fill the programme, something the Oamaru Harness Racing Club was unable to do at its meet on July 30.

“We’ve programmed 10 [races] but the nominations haven’t come out yet so it will depend on the number of nominations the number of races we’ll have. We’d like to think we’d get enough for 10 races.

“We’d hope to get enough for the Kurow Cup because it’s a reasonable stake. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to attract a reasonable field in the past.”

He said it was “disappointing” the Oamaru Harness Racing Club only had enough nominations for seven races at its meeting.

Mr Wall believed that may have been a result of multiple factors.

“I’m not too sure, but the horse numbers are down a little bit and the weather’s been wet, so some horses may have missed a wee bit of work, so it might be a combination of things really.”

Other than the racing, no additional activities had been planned.

“It’s just the time of year where it’s pretty hard to attract people out there,” he said.

“We’re a fortnight later this year because we swapped with the Oamaru club. We find it hard to attract the family-type people, so at this stage we haven’t got any other nominations.”

In 2016, Blair Orange guided Stunin Dude to a Kurow Cup win, ahead of the Leo O’Reilly-driven Bank Raider, and Provocative Prince with Oamaru driver Matthew Williamson in the sulky.

Meanwhile, Mr Wall believed the club itself was in good shape and had “healthy reserves”.

He said there was more confidence around the harness racing industry at present, which would benefit the sport going forward.

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