NZ Sires' Stakes Board Update
“Our intention is to run these races”
Despite the disruption to the industry caused by COVID-19, the New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Board says it is doing everything it can to ensure its Series and the “Harness Million” features still go ahead.
The Board is also reassuring sectors within the industry that all money paid in to Sires’ Stakes and Harness Million races pools is secure.
“The assurance we can give the industry is that it is our intent to run these races once the new season commences,” says Sires’ Stakes Board chairman Cleland Murdoch, “and that the money collected by the Board for these various pools of horses is available and will be raced for.”
“We have ring-fenced that money,” says Sires’ Stakes executive Martin Pierson, “all money paid by participants has been retained for its original purpose.”
When the country went into ‘lockdown’ there were nine different age-group events either underway or yet to be run in the 2019/20 season”.
They are :
- Nevele R 3yo Fillies Series (four heats run)
- Magness Benrow Sires’ Stakes 2yo Fillies Series (one heat & two SSQ races run)
- Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes 2yo Colts and Geldings Series (one heat & two SSQ races run)
- Haras des Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes 2yo & 3yo Trotters’ Series (a Prelude of each run)
- PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Series 28 3yoTrot
- NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2yo Colts & Geldings Pace, 2yo Fillies Pace and 2yo Trot.
“Like everyone we are waiting to see what the return to racing looks like,” said Mr Murdoch, “until we see the new season race date calendar we can only tentatively plan the way forward.”
Though clearly there will be some tweaks to the schedule.
“It will be a slightly earlier start to the season for the 3yo pacing divisions with the intention that the traditional McMillan Equine Feeds 3yo Sires’ Stakes Series Final on NZ Cup Day for the colts and geldings and New Year’s Eve at Alexandra Park for the Alabar 3yo Fillies Series Final will continue to be highlights in the racing calendar.”
After the dates are confirmed, the Sires’ Stakes Board will engage immediately with all relative stakeholders.
Mr Murdoch adding, “July 1st remains a critical date for owners, breeders and trainers for foal nominations and sustaining payments and we see the Board’s role and the race series programme even more critical for the industry going forward.”
The Board also wishes to thank their loyal stable of sponsors for their support and is looking forward to continuing these partnerships in our future races. “Fully supporting each other through these challenging times will provide better outcomes for us all as the Industry looks to rebound from the effects of COVID-19” concluded Martin.
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