Entain and HRNZ push new 2YO initiatives

Big and exciting changes have been confirmed for the country's juvenile trotters and pacers.

The new initiative, a partnership between Harness Racing New Zealand and Entain, is all about encouraging 2YO racing, and rewarding both breeders and owners.

Terms and conditions have now been agreed for a new 2YO Bonus series, as has the tentative 2YO race programme from January 1, 2024.

The new bonus scheme will see payments of $12,000 for any 2YO Trotter or Pacer winning his or her first race in a 2YO only race, with $8000 going to the owner and $4000 to the breeder.

The number of 2YO races in this country is set to increase markedly. Last year there were 82 individual 2YO races. Next year that number will skyrocket to around 139. The reason for this is from January 1, 2024 it's been decided that 2YOs will only race against their own age group. They will not be able to enter ratings races. Both HRNZ and Entain will conduct a review of this 2YO only decision in June/July next year to determine its effectiveness and viability.

Races will be run as long as there are a minimum of five starters. All 2YOs must be qualified before they can race.

To ensure owners and breeders have the best chance to get a quick return Entain and HRNZ have decided to front-load the schedule with more 2YO races through the first half of the season, and races will be held throughout the country, from Auckland to Invercargill.

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