Deadline looming for key races this spring and summer
With payment deadlines looming, the New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Board is keen to clarify what the impending change to the birthdate and racing calendar will mean for owners & trainers, breeders and other industry participants.
From 2022 all standardbreds will have their birthdays on January 1, not August 1 as they have traditionally.
“We are now going to have a transitional period through to the New Year - and it is, but it isn’t, business as usual,” says Sires’ Stakes executive Martin Pierson, “there are major things happening in the industry and it’s important people are well informed.”
Nomination and sustaining payments for the Sires’ Stakes, Nevele R and Caduceus Fillies Series close on July 1. These vary from $115 to $300 depending on the series & age group.
“I’ve had a number of enquiries questioning the need to pay these in light of what’s happening to the racing calendar,” says Pierson, “but in that regard nothing changes, payments have to be made in line with previously published conditions.”
The Sires’ Stakes programme will be run in the Spring as usual, though there is a BUT.
“That means the Woodlands Stud sponsored Sires’ Stakes Colts & Geldings Final for Series 38 will not be run as a three-year-old race, but heats will be run through October as they have traditionally and will finish up on IRT NZ Cup Day at Addington,” Pierson says.
“The Dunstan Horsefeeds Fillies Series 38 is also business as usual with the first heat being run at Ashburton during Cup Week and finishing on New Year’s Eve at Alexandra Park in Auckland. The only change being we will not be calling it a three-year-old series.”
The Nevele R Southern Mares Classic and the NZ Yearling Sales Aged Classic are also scheduled for November at Addington and Kaikoura but in this year’s edition three-years-olds will be allowed to nominate if eligible allowing for the birthdate change.
“As always to be in any of those races you have to pay the nomination or sustaining payments – that’s just the way the system works.”
Having being involved in a lot of the discussion around the changes Pierson knows it’s not easy.
“I’ve had weeks to get my head around these changes and there are times when it’s still confusing but I’m very confident this is all for the betterment of the industry.”