Southern features’ reboot adds further fervour to spring

After meetings with the various interest groups and racing clubs in Southland and following approval for the re-scheduling of the races by the HRNZ Board, three features that were lost to Southland during the Covid-19 break have been greenlit for October 2020.

The Southern Supremacy Stakes and Southlands Oaks will be run as Group 3 races for $30,000, along with the Diamond Creek Farm Classic at Ascot Park on 29 October. Owing to the change in season both the Supremacy and Oaks will be run for four-year-olds, while the Diamond Creek offers three-year-olds the opportunity of early-season spoils.

There will still be conditions attached to the Supremacy and Oaks with horses needing to start in at least two Southern Harness meetings during the 2019/20 racing season to be eligible.

Both races will be run over 2700m, from a mobile start, with a maximum of 12 starters. Selection for four-year-old races will be based in handicapping earnings (first to fifth) won throughout the 2019/20 racing season.

Southern Harness Racing Manager, Jason Broad, explains the push to get the races run. “We’ve got the sponsors, money has been committed to the races and there was a huge desire locally from stakeholders to ensure we didn’t lose the races that were earmarked for this past season. It was great to get the approval from HRNZ and while we recognise there will be plenty of age group racing this spring we feel these races will add considerable value to our racing.”

For the full conditions of the re-scheduled Southern Supremacy and Southland Oaks visit the Racing Series & Conditions section of the HRNZ website here.

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