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Harness racing replaces classic camels at Gympie

TROTS: The Gympie Turf Club welcomes harness racing back to the track for Melbourne Cup race day on Tuesday. Contributed
TROTS: The Gympie Turf Club welcomes harness racing back to the track for Melbourne Cup race day on Tuesday. Contributed Inga Williams

THE Gympie Turf Club is mixing it up this year with the trots replacing the camels at Tuesday's Melbourne Cup day.

The camels are sadly unavailable this year as they were deemed too young and

inexperienced by trainers and unfit for racing.

Instead the club has approached Racing Queensland about running harness races for the big meet with Sullivan Livestock sponsoring the event.

Harness racing will be back on Gympie's sand track for the second time this year - they were a huge success at the Zinc 96 Family Picnic Race Day.

On the Australian Harness Racing website, writer David Aldred said after the three harness races staged in July all harness racing owners, trainers and drivers involved were pleased their horses handled the sand racing surface.

New Gympie Turf Club president Shane Gill said there will be a bit of preparation needed to get the track suitable for trots with the sand track scheduled to be watered and rolled late Monday or early Tuesday.

Fernvale trainer Darrel Graham will bring a truckload of horses to Gympie and starting in the stables will be the 2015 Redcliffe Gold Cup runner-up Five Card Draw.

The official distance of each race is 1980m with each event carrying a base prize money of $1500.

"Being a Melbourne Cup there should be quite a large crowd, hopefully in excess of 1000 people," Gill said. "It's traditionally a pretty large day in Australia wherever you go."

Gates open 10am for the big event with the usual fashions on the field and five harness races from 1pm.

Topics:  camel camel racing gympie melbourne cup

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