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One for Rocky

Friday, 14th March, 2014

Jensen Baker (right) and partner Jo Cossai are in town for a tribute race tonight in honour of Jensen’s father Ray Baker. Jensen Baker (right) and partner Jo Cossai are in town for a tribute race tonight in honour of Jensen’s father Ray Baker.

By Ethan James

Broken Hill Harness Racing will pay tribute to larger-than-life figure Ray Baker at the Carnival of Cups meeting tonight. 

Race three, the 1900 metre Carbine Chemicals-Vetforce 2880 Pace, is being run in  honour of Mr Baker who established the company.  

His son Jensen Baker and partner Jo Cossai have travelled from Melbourne to be trackside for the meeting. 

“It will be special. I’m looking forward to it... it will be nice to see how everything is put together for dad,” Jensen said. 

Mr Baker donated 24 bikes every year for the past decade and Broken Hill Harness Racing will continue the tradition with another 24 to be given away this evening. 

More than 4,000 people attended the corresponding event last year and Senior Vice President Tony Camilleri expects another big crowd with country singer Adam Brand performing.

“We’ve had a stack more interest in comparison to last year with Shannon Noll - and that crowd was massive,” Camilleri said.

“Five years ago the club sat down with Harness Racing New South Wales about our future and we can’t thank them enough for making the meeting what it is now.

“The introduction of entertainment with Shannon Noll and now Adam Brand has attracted just about the whole town, plus a great amount of tourists, and when you include the terrific prizemoney, our Carnival Of Cups meeting is grabbing plenty of attention.”

Tony’s daughter Ashleigh won’t be driving due to a broken ankle but has two runners in the feature event. 

“Mattichiello won the race last year when he was trained by my dad so hopefully he can win the race again this year,” she said. 

“I also have Cityscape in the race and he has won two of his last three starts so I think I have two pretty good chances.

“I would love to be out their driving but with my ankle injury I can’t be. I am actually booked into see a specialist next week in Adelaide because it isn’t healing very well and there is a possibility that I may need an operation to help fix it.”

Ashleigh Camilleri has a strong team of horses racing tonight including the former Sydney-trained Rapid Response.

“Rapid Response has been racing really well and the best thing about him is that he tries really hard so I think he will be pretty hard to beat this Friday night. He is the best of my chances, I think.

“I have trained eleven winners so far in my career and I’ve had 56 starters so I’m pretty happy with how the team has gone this season and hopefully the stable can finish off the season well.”

In another big promotion, patrons tonight will go into a draw to win a brand new Toyota Yaris.  

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