Harness Jewels confirmed for 2021
The Harness Jewels are back.
Harness Racing New Zealand has confirmed that the 2021 Harness Jewels will be held at Cambridge Raceway over Queen’s Birthday weekend. And for the first time it will be held on a Sunday, not a Saturday.
On June 6 all nine races will carry a stake of $100,000.
“It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point,” says HRNZ Interim Chief Executive Phil Holden, “COVID has certainly made things tricky to say the least but the Board is committed to delivering the Jewels so it's great to be able to make it happen."
There will be a maximum of 12 starters per race, with all races, as is the tradition, to be mobiles over the mile.
“There was some consideration to running it on the Saturday (June 5) - but we decided against it because it clashed with gallops meetings at Ellerslie and Whanganui and a harness meeting at Invercargill,” said Holden.
Cambridge will be the 14th edition of the Jewels, with the first taking place in Ashburton in 2007. The 2020 Jewels was scheduled for May 30 this year but couldn’t proceed because of the pandemic.
With the uncertainty over trans-Tasman travel there will be no invitations issued to Australian horses and if they want to be part of the Jewels they will need to qualify here like everyone else.
Entry to each of the nine races is determined by the highest stake earners. An updated leaderboard can be found on www.hrnz.co.nz
“June next year may seem a long time away,” says Holden, “but it will be here in a flash and it’s important for everyone to have such an important event confirmed on the calendar.”