Massive new meeting confirmed for Alexandra Park: “we will be rolling out the red carpet”
Harness racing is to get its very own pre-Karaka Yearling Sales meeting, with a mega night of six Group and/or Listed races confirmed for Auckland next February.
Starting at the later than usual time of 7.30pm, the Harness Million meeting at Alexandra Park will be held on Saturday February 12 2022, a day before the start of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka.
It’s modelled on the highly successful Karaka Million meeting at Ellerslie every January.
“The Karaka Million Series has showcased the impact a must-attend event can do for the industry, “ says James Jennings, NZB’s Director and Operations Manager, “record turnovers, attendance and engagement has seen that race day become arguably the biggest on the calendar, something we envisage happening with the Harness Million Series.”
In the future the meeting will be held on a Friday, with next year's Saturday scheduling a one-off due to a clash with Cambridge's meeting on Friday February 11.
“It would usually be a big ask to move away from Alexandra Park’s traditional Friday night slot and when approached by HRNZ to consider the concept of six Group - Listed races on a Saturday night the ATC Racing Committee were fizzing at the opportunity, it was a no brainer,” says Auckland Trotting Club’s Jamie MacKinnon.
"We really appreciate that the TAB has given us a licence for the Saturday night," says HRNZ Chief Executive Gary Woodham, "it will be massive opportunity to promote our sport both here and in Australia, and we can't wait."
The six races will include three 3YO Harness Million races for Colts and Geldings, Fillies and Trotters. To have all three at the same venue on the same night is a first. The other three races on the night will be the Group One Taylor Mile (4YO and older pacers), the Lyell Creek Stakes (Group 2) for the open class trotters, and a Young Guns race for the two-year-olds.
“This is a terrific opportunity to showcase premier racing at one of the leading clubs in Australasia and you can be sure the ATC will be rolling out the red carpet. The Champagne corks will definitely be popping,” says MacKinnon.
“We’re in an exciting time for the industry and have the opportunity to create very attractive race meetings for punters, trainers, owners and participants, “ says Jennings, “we look forward to our continued association as a sponsor in harness racing and looking forward to what the future holds.”
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