Ararat reinsman Michael Bellman is looking to cause an upset on his home track this Friday, February 21, when he pilots the polemarker Blissfull Stride in the $35,000 Ararat Pacing Cup.
The Anthony Spiteri trained chestnut gelding is the lowest rated runner in a crackerjack edition of the Ararat Club's feature event but has drawn to enjoy a saloon passage over the 2195 metre journey.
Blissfull Stride was outgunned by Pat Stanley and Rackemup Tigerpie in the recent Adelaide Pacing Cup but was far from disgraced and will appreciate the drop back in distance here.
Standing in the way of Bellman's quest are a host of in-form and classy performers headed by the Emma Stewart trained pair Deedenuto and Our Millionaire, Kerry Manning's duo Pay Rise and Stroke Of Luck, last start Echuca Cup winner Sicario, Kasbah Kid, from the Geoff Webster barn, and rising star General Dodge for the Mick Chircop - Jodie Quinlan combo.
If the big guns go to war while Bellman and his charge are sitting back quietly waiting, the sprint lane could come into play over the final stages and from there anything is possible.
Hoofnote: Bellman won the 2011 Ararat Pacing Cup with his favourite horse Mister Rys.
The fundraiser for champion reinsman Gavin Lang on Tuesday, March 17 is gathering momentum.
Organiser Stephen Cleave says the night at Tabcorp Park Melton "promises to be memorable" and "full of great yarns".
Hosted by AFL great and harness aficionado Michael McGuane, GoodForm's Jason Bonnington and RSN's Gareth Hall, the evening will feature multiple 'all-star' panels telling stories about one of harness racing's genuine all-time greats.
Lang is currently battling lymphoma and the trots industry is rallying to help him and his family with the incredibly expensive treatment.
Tickets for the event are $25 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $200 (book through Melton on 8746 0600).
Additionally, an online auction and raffle is also being conducted, the details of which can be online with more auction items to be up for grabs on the 17th.
They're off at Ararat (N) Tonight; Hamilton (D) Thursday, February 27th; Boort (D) Cup Day Sunday, March 2nd; Mt. Gambier (D) Monday 3rd; Birchip (D) Mallee Bull Cup Day Sunday 8th & Horsham (D) Invitation Drivers Championship Monday 9th.
Last return $7.90 @ Horsham Trots. Balance $175.30. Race 2 No 2 Monsieur Delacour $3 eachway. Race 3 No 2 Go Go Jolt $3 eachway. Race5 Number 8 Deltasun $4 eachway
Ararat fields are available at http://www.harness.org.au/