Big rewards in offing over winter
After the success of the recent RATTO series at Addington over Easter a similar series is being planned for this winter.
It will be called the Winter Rewards Series, and will be run on a regional basis, with pacers and trotters at three venues - Wyndham, Addington and Alexandra Park.
"The whole idea is to ensure good sized fields throughout the winter," says Harness Racing New Zealand, General Manager - Racing Catherine McDonald, "and to reward those horses that are racing a lot and essentially being the backbone of our sport."
The series will be open to 4YO and older pacers and trotters, with a rating up R60 as at 1 May 2022. Pacers will be despatched from mobile starts, trotters from special handicaps.
Horses must start three times in the region during the eligibility period (May-July) to qualify for the finals and can only contest one Winter Rewards series.
The finals will be at the Forbury Trotting Club meeting at Wyndham on July 7 then Auckland (July 29) and Addington (July 31), and it's proposed there will be three pacing and two trotting finals at each venue. They will be worth $20,000 each.
The series is modelled on the popular RATTO (Rating At The Time Of) series that wrapped up at Addington over Easter. Aimed at the intermediate grade horses there were five races - each worth $30,000.
"It was a very successful model so it makes sense to replicate it during the winter months which is usually a tough time," says McDonald.
There will be regular updates on the Winter Rewards Series leaderboard on the HRNZ website in the run-up to the finals.
To see the conditions of the new series click here