Warragul Harness Racing Club officials were pleased with the attendance at their first Christmas Eve race meeting, staged last Sunday afternoon.
The race meeting featured the club's first Lend A Hand lunch. Over 150 patrons young and old attended, after the club sought nominations from local charities recommending those in the community who have been doing it tough and otherwise may not have been able to join in the Christmas spirit.
The lunch went ahead with the support of numerous volunteers and local charity groups, along with funding from the State Government's Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
Patrons were also treated to live music, carriage rides and a visit from Santa.
Club Manager Tara Kiker praised the Warragul Harness Racing Club committee, sponsors and volunteers who worked hard behind the scenes to make the lunch a success.
It is the first of a number of new initiatives the WHRC committee is looking to implement in an effort to increase awareness of the trotting sport across the community.
Racing highlight on Sunday was the four win haul to premier driver Chris Alford, who had also driven four winners at the Bendigo trots meeting the previous night.
Alford's winners were Mach Cruiser, Courageous Desire, Misty Cullen and Magical Delight, the latter three trained by Drouin West horseman Gary Quinlan.
Brandons Price turned in the most courageous win of the day in the Trotters Handicap.
Driver Derby McGuigan was inconvenienced with a circuit to travel when the sulky tyre came off the rim.
Brandons Price dragged the loose wheel for the last lap of the Warragul Pacing Bowl, but still came away from his rivals to score. Lenard Ess gave young trainer Jess Tubbs her first Warragul winner when the gelding won his first race in the fourth event. Jess' husband Greg Sugars drove the three-year-old, which sprinted home sharply out wide on the track to win.
Warragul harness racing returns on Thursday, January 11 for the $25,000 Eastern Challenge race.