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Horse Supporting Cancer Research

Published: February 26, 2014 9:02 am ET

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As the biggest day of harness racing on the Australian harness racing schedule is set for Sunday with the $750,000 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, one of the pacers lining up is racing for more than just bragging rights.

Smolda has already won the NSW Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle and on Sunday will be attempting to add his name to the Inter Dominion honour roll. Apart from being a talented pacer he is also the equine ambassador for CCIA, (Children's Cancer Institute Australia) the country's only independent medical research institute due to the involvement of his part owner Marcus Kirkwood.

Marcus and his wife Sharon lost their son Tom to a brain tumour in August 2009, one day before his 18th birthday and since then through the support of their town of Singleton have raised more than $800,000 for the CCIA.

"After Tom's death I thought I might splurge on a share in a horse and after seeing one for sale on New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon's website I made some enquiries," Kirkwood said.

"Smolda came across for the NSW Derby and we thought he would make a good ambassador for the CCIA drawing valuable attention for the Institute if he raced in the colours of Mark Purdon but carried the logo of the CCIA."

After a brief discussion with the other part owners it was quickly agreed upon.

"Fellow owners Neil Pilcher and Phillip and Glenys Kennard embraced it and Mark and his partner Natalie Rasmussen willingly adopted the idea and proudly wear the colours, maybe it is some Anzac spirit.

"While the royal blue and silver grey colours are highly visible slightly less obvious are the words around the cuffs of the sleeve, they read 'Our Mate Tom', so Tom will be there on Inter Dominion day."

The CCIA has conducted world-class childhood cancer research for 25 years working towards their vision to save the lives of all children with cancer and eliminate their suffering.

Smolda will start from barrier eight on Sunday afternoon and will have plenty of supporters cheering him on.

The draw for the $750,000 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final in barrier draw order is:

1. Im Victorious

2. Livingontheinterest

3. Seel N Print

4. Keayang Cullen

5. Forever Gold

6. Mach Beauty

7. Wartime Sweetheart

8. Smolda

9. Caribbean Blaster

10. The Gold Ace

--- second row ---

11. Restrepo

12. Beautide

13. For A Reason

14. Terror To Love

15. Franco Nelson (1st Emergency) (Withdrawn)

16. Pub Blitz (2nd Emergency)

17. Ardghal (3rd Emergency)

Note that the Emergencies are not drawn into the field and take the place vacated by a scratching.

The mega race day will consist of seven Group 1 events including the Form 700 Chariots of Fire, Camarda and Cantrill NSW Derby, Form 700 NSW Oaks, Cordina Farms Ladyship Mile, and Glenferrie Farms Trotters Challenge. For the full list of entries, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Tabcorp Park Menagle.

(with files from HRNSW)


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