New trotting series announced for Seddon’s Summer Circuit
A new series tailor made for mid-grade trotters has been confirmed for the top half of the South Island this summer.
From December through to March, the Seddon Summer Trotting Series will be held at Westport, Reefton, Nelson and Marlborough.
There will be nine meetings in all, with each leg of the series worth between $15,000 and $20,000. The stakes have been boosted in part through the new Regional Stakes Fund introduced by HRNZ this year.
Points for each race will be allocated as follows:
1st – 7 points
2nd – 5 points
3rd – 4 points
4th – 3 points
5th – 2 points
One point for every other starter.
At the end of the series the connections of the horse with the most points will get a bonus of $10,000, with $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third.
The Seddon Harness Racing Group is delighted the series has got off the ground.
"It's got to be a good thing all round," says Seddon Chair Ben Smith. "It will promote the Seddon area and generate interest in the sport here, encourage trainers to send their trotters on our circuit and drive turnover."
The series was agreed to after discussions between the Seddon Harness Racing Group, the Central Programming Committee and HRNZ.
"With the good stakes and bonuses on offer we are hopeful it will be well supported," says Smith.
"It is geared towards Rating 51 and faster trotters, the multiple race winners that are just below the top trotters," says HRNZ's General Manager - Racing Catherine McDonald.
"We are very keen to promote trotting and give all our trotters better opportunities and this certainly achieves that."
The Series will start at Westport on Boxing Day and on December 28 before heading to Reefton and then to Nelson and Marlborough for their two-day meetings in January, before the final two meetings at Westport and Reefton in March.