Mindful of the strong support they receive from the local community, both in terms of sponsorship and patronage, the club sought permission to change the starting time from midday until after 5pm to give greater numbers of people the opportunity to attend, and the TAB agreed to their request.
“We were aware that the earlier start would mean a lot of workers would not be able to get the time off to come to Solway, now they can do a full day’s work and still make the first race,” Wairarapa GRC president Gary Caffell said.
“And that in turn should help us by boost the on-course betting, which would have been next to nothing with a noon start.”
Feature race tomorrow is the time-honoured Wairarapa Cup to be run over the middle distance of 545m. It should provide an outstanding spectacle with the first two placegetters in the Wing Memorial at the Wellington meeting held at Solway earlier this month, Magic City and Jimmy Hall, down to clash again.
Magic City won on that occasion and it was a memorable performance considering he was wide all the way and still some lengths off the pacemaking Jimmy Hall at the home turn. Magic City virtually sprouted wings over the last 50m and had almost to length to spare at the post.
Since that victory Magic City has qualified for the final of the prestigious Wellington Cup raced at Wanganui but got awkwardly placed on the rails early in the piece and was never in a challenging position.
His defeat by Magic City in the Wing Memorial was Jimmy Hall’s first at Solway in five starts there and this grass track specialist is sure to give another good account of himself. He always seems to race best when allowed his own rules in front and his chances would be greatly enhanced by an inside draw.
Gunnadoo Dreams is a kennelmate of Magic City and gives the Brewer-Gilbert team from Foxton a very useful second string. He has had just the one start at Solway for the one win and was very impressive the way he hit the front by the first turn and never looked like being headed. If he heads off Jimmy Hall in the early rush it could be all on for him.
Wairarapa GRC committeeman James Elers is involved in the ownership of two of the Cup field, Thrilling Hugo, who he trains himself, and Mr Simply from the Carol and Wayne Morris team at Pahiatua.
Thrilling Hugo looked a huge winning chance in the Wing Memorial when he was travelling at half pace just behind the leaders coming to the home bend but the gaps never opened for him and he actually finished near the rear. This fellow has a big finish and could be the upsetting factor.
Mr Simply has won twice at Solway over the sprint journey and is no mug over the longer distances either.
He is sure to be in touch with the pace from the outset and his knowledge of the track should stand him in good stead.
A second runner from the Morris team is Hutt Park Flyer, in whom Wairarapa president Caffell is actually part of a big group of owners. She is as honest as they come and has gone some bold races at Solway in the past. The odds about her will be generous and she is a realistic place chance, at least.
Daddy is the third acceptor from the in-form Morris kennels and it would be wrong to completely discard his chances either. He has raced well in strong company further north and is well up to this.
Seldom do Wairarapa meetings go by without Levin trainers Graeme and Shirley Hayden-Holmes taking some of the spoils and they have Liza Shiraz in the Cup.
Her recent form has been mixed but she is a smart bitch when the mood takes her and place punters, in particular, could be persuaded to have her in their selections.
Courtesy : Wairarapa Times Age