Important change for 2YOs to come into effect
Harness Racing New Zealand want to remind trainers of the important new rule change made last October regarding two-year-old pacers and trotters - from February 1, 2023 all two-year-olds must qualify before they race.
After consultation with a number of groups, including the New Zealand Trainers and Drivers Association, HRNZ has agreed to the rule change to ensure that all horses, regardless of age, are of a qualified standard when they start their racing careers.
In the past 2YOs have been exempt for 2YO races.
But with the racing season now January - December it was decided it was time for a change
"The two-year-olds are now up to six months older than they were and the qualifying times are very achievable for this age group," says HRNZ's General Manager - Racing, Catherine McDonald, "so it made sense to make the change."
"Now all horses must be qualified before they set onto the race track."
The first major races where 2YOs will have to be qualified are the Young Gun heats at Alexandra Park, as part of the Harness Million night at Alexandra Park in February.