THE threat of heavy rain moved the beginning of Friday’s Sale race meeting forward an hour.
That proved to be a good decision, as the eight races were completed before the rain rolled in.
The day featured Christmas break-up parties, and was also the farewell meeting for Sale Turf Club chief executive Wayne Pollock, who has been in the position 14 years.
Club president David Wilson said Pollock had been an outstanding chief executive and had given more than 40 year’s service to the racing industry.
Pollock was chief executive at Moe then went to Darwin and Sydney in racing roles. Fourteen years ago he was appointed chief executive at Sale.
Wilson said a lot had happened at the club under Pollock’s watch.
Crowds at the Sale Cup went from 2000 to 4000 people when it was switched from February to October, the Laurels function room was constructed, works on the tie-up stalls and the public bar, while upgrades to the track have made it one of the best in country Victoria.
Wilson said Pollock would be missed, but he was looking forward to working with new chief executive, local Brad Evans.
It seemed fitting locally-trained horses Go One Better and Ripplebrook won the final two events during Pollock’s farewell meeting.
Go One Better won race seven, the benchmark 58 handicap. The six-year-old gelding is trained at Sale by Damien Walkiey and is raced in partnership with wife Deb.
Winning rider Harry Grace came down the centre of the track and caught the leaders 100 metres from the finish and kicked away for a good win.
Go One Better has six wins and 11 placings from 36 starts.
Ripplebrook, coming off a last start win at Sale, won the final event, the Wayne Pollock Farewell Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Ridden by Thomas Stockdale, the classy two-year-old gelding has made an impressive racing debut.
Trained at Sale by Sharyn Trolove and raced in partnership by Peter and Mary Gray, Ripplebrook began with second placings at Moe and Sale and followed up with back-toback wins at Greenwattle.
Cranbourne trainer Wendy Kelly and Craig Williams combined to win the first event, the three-year-old fillies maiden plate.
Rosewedge, ridden by Jake Noonan and trained at Caulfield by Mick Price, won the race two maiden plate. Mario Farrugia’s first starter Elam raced well to finish second.
The race three maiden plate was won by Mahamedeis, ridden by Thomas Sadler and trained by Nick Ryan at Caulfield.
Georgica, ridden by Michael Walker and trained by Chris
Waller at Flemington, won the race four maiden plate.
Charcoal, ridden by Jamie Mott and trained at Cranbourne by Richard Laming, won face five, the benchmark 58 handicap.
Little Bita Spunk, ridden by Sadler and trained by Matthew Brown at Cranbourne, won the race six benchmark 58 handicap.
The next race meeting at Greenwattle will be the Kids’ Day Out on Sunday, January 21.