DUNKELD Racing Club has been nominated for the 2015-16 Country Racing Victoria club of the year award.
Ballarat Turf Club, Donald & District Racing Club, Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club and the Pakenham Racing Club are the other nominations for the prestigious award.
Dunkeld Racing Club manager Karen Van Kempen said the club was delighted to be a finalist.
“We pride ourselves on working tirelessly to ensure that our once-a-year race meeting is delivered to the racing patrons and racing stakeholders in a manner that makes for an enjoyable, relaxing and comfortable day out," Van Kempen said.
"Our selection as a finalist in this category is testament to the great work done by our dedicated volunteers."
Country Racing Victoria will announce other award winners, including horse of the year, at the presentation night on August 20.
Hope for St Jean
AARON Purcell will push ahead with plans for his talented stayer St Jean despite the rising seven-year-old testing positive to a prohibited substance.
St Jean returned a positive reading to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen, which is a prohibited substance on race day, after a blood test last week.
The imported stallion was treated with Ibuprofen while on rehab at a pre-training complex following injuring his near-side tendon in September 2014.
"We'll have St Jean blood tested later this week," Purcell said.
"The whole thing is just so frustrating for St Jean's owners and all our stable. I've said on numerous occasions he was potentially the best horse that I've trained.
“It's so disappointing but we'll push on and hope he returns a negative reading."
Purcell paid just over $110,000 for the Irish-bred stallion before he won four of his eight Australian starts for the trainer.
HONEST Warrnambool galloper Reigning Meteor put recent unlucky runs behind him when he won a $30,000 benchmark70 handicap at Bendigo on Sunday.
Trainer Matthew Williams said the four-year-old, who was well backed to start $2.40 favourite, appreciated big flat tracks.
"He's probably been unlucky in a few races," Williams said. "He got things to suit on the big roomy track which was heavy. He likes those sort of conditions."
Reigning Meteor took his stake earnings to more than $110,000 with the victory.
Hip hip hooray
FORMER Warrnambool jockey Pat Ryan, one of the quiet achievers in local racing, celebrated his 70th birthday with family and friends on Sunday.
Ryan rode 297 flat winners, including five in one afternoon at the old Koroit racecourse in 1963, also booted home 80 over the jumps.
His wife of more than 47 years Colleen, who is an inspiration to so many fighting numerous health battles, was at his side for the function.
Meanwhile, Ryan's son Patrick, who trained Video Star to win the 2008 Warrnambool Cup, is going to switch his talented jumper I'll'ava'alf to steeplechase races following his impressive win in a maiden hurdle earlier this month.
"It was always our plan to run I'll'ava'alf over fences," he said.
"We've always thought he will be better in steeplechase races since we got him from New Zealand."
I'll'ava'alf defeated Berning Desire and Deliberate to win a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool on July 10.
ROBBIE'S Star kept up his impressive record at Bendigo and on heavy ground winning a benchmark64 race over 1600 metres on Sunday.
The Warrnambool-trained Robbie's Star defeated Buzz Punch and Walloon Region in the $23,000 race.
Trainer Peter Chow said the four-year-old has won two of his three starts at Bendigo and both victories have been on heavy tracks.
"He just loves tracks," Chow said. "I just hope it keeps on raining. He's a real swimmer. He hit the line well. I reckon there may be more wins in him if we get conditions to suit."
BAD weather over the past few weeks has taken its toll on Colac trainer Bill Cerchi. The colourful trainer turned out his eight horses three weeks ago because of heavy ground at Colac.
"I had no other option but to tip them out," Cerchi said.
"It's really heavy at Colac. We've had more rain this year than last year. It's impossible to work horses down here.
“I pushed through working horses on the heavy ground last year but it's not worth doing it. I'll bring the horses back into light work in three weeks."
MORE than 180 horses have been entered for the main catalogue in the 2016 Inglis August Thoroughbred Sale to be held on August 19 at Oaklands Junction in Melbourne. Supplementary entries will be accepted until August 12.
The sale comprises of 100 broodmares, two stallion shares in Stratum, five yearlings, two unbroken stock, 49 race fillies and mares, plus 26 race colts and geldings.
Broodmares French Resistance and Leisure Pass are both being offered in foal to leading two-year-old sire Written Tycoon, while other mares are being offered in foal to Brazen Beau, Cluster, Crackerjack King, Dawn Approach, Delightful Choice, Domesday, Epaulette, Fighting Sun, God’s Own, Ilovethiscity, Moshe, Reward For Effort.