Dead heat in Eugowra's 2019 Canola Cup

Mick Dumnesy called Monday's Canola Cup the most open field he'd ever seen for the $30,000 harness racing feature at Eugowra - and it didn't disappoint.

After a false start due to a fall that saw driver Bernie Hewitt taken to hospital, there was a dead heat finish for the first time in the race's 20-year history.

Four horses crossed the line within 1.5 metres, and within 0.1 of a second, with Major Comment for David Druitt and Redbank Cooper for Scott Hewitt in a dead heat at 2.35.837.

Hurricane Roy for David Hewitt crossed third in 2.35.861 and Kanena Provlima for Anthony Frisby in fourth.

The entire field had crossed the line before three seconds had passed.

"If that didn't get you excited for harness racing, nothing's going to," race caller Mark McNamara said, describing it as the most dramatic Canola Cup in the event's 20 years.

A protest regarding the early stages of the race kept the crowd in suspense but it was dismissed and the placings were honoured.

A strong field took the track for the feature race, but Roger That and Alta Equus locked wheels and Bernie Hewitt took a fall from the gig onto the outside rail.

After vet checks on the horses involved, Steve Turnbull took the reins of Alta Equus for the running of the Cup.

Hewitt was transported to hospital for x-rays, but it is understood nothing was broken.

Outstanding racing was seen throughout the day's eight-race program, with the setting of two new track records.

In the inaugural Ken Sharp Memorial, the record set by his best pacer Smooth Haitch was broken by Maximus Red.

In the Don Tildsley Memorial the track was practically set alight by Conviction, driven by Amanda Turnbull on return from a spell.

The top-class pacer broke Karoo Mick's track record with a sizzling mile rate of 1.54.7 and a 19.6 metre lead on Wagga Cup winning Beetson.

The Canola Cup Silver Consolation was claimed by Tulhurst Terror for trainer / driver Nathan Hurst and the Gold Consolation by Joeylew for John Lew, driven by John O'Shea.

Overall it was a stellar day on and off the track and Rod Smith from major sponsor Lexus of Parramatta paid tribute to the Eugowra Harness Racing Club committee who make it all happen year after year.

"You do an exceptionally good job," he said as he presented the Canola Cup to two winners for the first time.