Cash incentives to boost numbers at Alexandra Park

By Michael Guerin

Alexandra Park is taking immediate measures to boost field sizes during April.

The Auckland Trotting Club has been disappointed, and like many, slightly perplexed by the recent struggles to get larger fields.

It constantly attracts less horses than Cambridge meetings which race for lesser stakes, with one possible factor the fear of horses not being able to win at Alexandra Park, which considering the struggles for numbers at the Auckland track seems largely unfounded.

But the ATC will incentivise trainers with bonuses for starting in lower grade races through April.

Trainers of horses that start in the non-win trot, three-year-old and older non-win pace and up to R50 conditioned pace in April will all receive a $200 payment per starter, regardless of where the horse finishes.

The club hopes that will help boost the numbers in support races as they hold Group 1s like the Taylor Mile and Messenger in late April as well as a mobile mile trot leading into the National Trot.

The club has been hard hit by Covid restrictions over the last two years which have played havoc with its racenight functions business but has some high-class offerings over the next two months which reach their zenith with the Auckland Cup and Rowe Cup on May 27.

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