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Preparations in place for huge Newcastle Mile

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He’s only been in the role less than four months… but Kim Treweek is eagerly-awaiting his first Newcastle Mile at the Newcastle Harness Racing Club (NHRC) this week.

The new general manager, who took over the reins from Wayne Smith, brings to the position two decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge from New Zealand’s thoroughbred industry, which he’s confident will be transferable to harness sector.

The Kiwi also boasts a successful riding career over 20 years, with more than 300 winners and 120 jumping triumphs.

However, his focus is now entirely on the NHRC – and its future.

“My time here [in Newcastle] has been good so far,” Treweek said.

“Obviously, with a small team, they’ve had their challenges over the past six-to-12 months.

“So, my arrival probably allows us to look at opportunities moving forward.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the venue and what’s happening with that.

“But, unfortunately, we have no answer for it yet.

“We’re just trying to put that aside and push ahead… in other words, it’s business as usual.

“So, we’ll do what we can to get bums on seats and people here, as well as whatever we can to enhance the facilities – that’s our major priority.”

Leap to Fame will contest the $100,000 AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile to qualify for the Miracle Mile.

In the meantime, all eyes are on the prestigious $100,000 AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile at the paceway on Friday 23 February.

It caps a strong meeting, which features the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Kids Club HRNSW Guaranteed Two-Year-Old Pace, too.

“I’ve heard a lot about the main race, so I know it’s a highlight on our calendar,” Treweek told the Newcastle Weekly.

“Even though I’m learning as I go, I understand we’ll attract a pretty good crowd here (on Friday).

“Obviously, the attraction of having Leap To Fame in Newcastle is exciting.

“I’ve seen him run a few times, in the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup.

“Since his owners Kevin and Kay Seymour indicated he’d race here, I’ve been looking forward to that.

“Leap To Fame has won nine races on the trot and is set to make it 10/10 in the AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile, where he’s chasing the victory and automatic qualification into the 2024 Miracle Mile.

“If successful, it’ll be a rare moment in history.

“We’re also doing some great promotions around him with the help of the Seymours.

“The latest announcement is should he win on Friday, they’ll gift 5% of the winning stakes to one lucky Newcastle Mile patron plus match the donation with a further 5% pledge to the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Kids Club (JHCHKC).

“Even though Leap To Fame will face a couple of local contenders, I doubt they’ll be up to that standard.

“He seems to be the real standout.

“It’ll probably be more of a shock if he doesn’t win.

“Former Morisset reinsman Jack Callaghan, now based in Sydney, has also scored a drive on last-start winner Mach Da Vinci.

“But, we’ve got a terrific nine-race card, especially with the two-year-olds and some really competitive racing through the night.”

Newcastle’s own Golden Guitar winner Max Jackson is set to entertain at the Newcastle Harness Racing Club. Photo: Peter Stoop

The free and family-friendly event will cater for the non-punters, too, according to Treweek.

“Off-track entertainment includes Newcastle’s own Golden Guitar winner Max Jackson performing in the Pacers Lounge, The Voice 2022 finalist Finnian Johnson and the Mark Wells Band,” he said.

“There are also activities for the kids and the Dachshund Mini Mile, which is becoming the most popular thing that’s happening.

“Of all our Facebook posts, that’s receiving the most hits,” he added with a laugh.

“Overall, I think people can expect a great night out with plenty of fun.

“We want them talking about it [positively] afterwards.”

And, what is it about harness racing’s enduring appeal?

“For Newcastle, I think it’s consistency,” Treweek said.

“Don’t forget, the racing side of things is very strong in the Hunter, it’s competitive.

“We stage 68 meetings a year, so we pretty much race every Friday.

“So, as a venue, it’s a consistent program… and you can bring the kids along.

“Plus, on big nights like the Newcastle Mile, once we fill up upstairs, it’s just a great place to watch the action.

“What’s not to love about harness racing?”

Gates open at 5.30pm and the Newcastle Mile will take place at 8.40pm.

$100,000 AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile

  • 1            73657 PETES SAID SO (trainer Kerryann Morris, driver Robert Morris)
  • 2            75923 MASTER CATCH (EM2) (Lisa McDonald, Joshua Gallagher)
  • 3            65313 CANTFINDABETTORMAN (Luke McCarthy, Luke McCarthy)
  • 4            42184 KANENA PROVLIMA (Kerryann Morris, Robert Morris)
  • 5            26836 PITCH PERFECT (EM1) (Roy Roots Jnr, Grace Panella)
  • 6            31921 MACH DA VINCI (Peter Hanson, Jack Callaghan)
  • 7            11111 LEAP TO FAME (Grant Dixon, Grant Dixon)
  • 8            580s1 HOT AND TREACHEROUS (Jason Grimson, Cameron Hart)
  • 9            11r32 Max Delight (David Aiken, Nathan Jack)
  • 10          07s11 LOYALIST (Joe Conolly, Seaton Grima)

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