Futurity Final to feature in season-ender
By Michael Guerin
Alexandra Park’s first winter Futurity Final has set up a season-ending treat this Friday night.
The $30,000 race for horses who started the winter as lower grade performers has drawn a strong field for that grade of horse at this stage of the year, with plenty in the field who will go on to at least intermediate grade.
The Futurity series was launched this year to give the lower grade winter horses a target and also keep them racing at harness racing’s quieter time of the year, rather than being spelled or sold.
It has worked most importantly from the point of drawing a field of similar horses, rather than being dominated by an age group gun who snuck into via the conditions.
So it will bring together the likes of speedy filly Commander Cathy, the promising Melanion, the improving Hesashorething and a balanced field of others over the 2200m mobile as race eight at the season ending meeting.
The other Futurity Final programme for Friday is a real bonus for northern trainers as it was originally supposed to be Southern Sourced to attract decent South Island maidens to the north for the winter.
Those numbers fell short of expectations but rather than can the race all together the ATC will run it as a mixed futurity, with an easier field than the main one but still a chance for the horses who started this campaign as maidens to race for $30,000.