Two big changes to 2YO Bonus Scheme

Key changes to the 2YO Bonus Scheme have been agreed to by the Harness Racing New Zealand Board.

At present, two-year-olds only race against their own age group and for their first win $12,000 is paid out, with $8000 to the owner and $4000 to the breeder. The bonus scheme is a partnership between HRNZ and TAB operators Entain.

Now the HRZ Board has decided, following discussions with Entain, to tweak the scheme. There are two major changes.

If there are five or more 2YOs in a race then it will go ahead, as per the rules as they are now.

However if there are less than five in the field then the 2YOs will be able to race against non-winning 3YOs. The first 2YO home in that race will still qualify for the 2YO bonus. The horse does not have to win the race, it just has to be the first 2YO home.

The other big change is that if a 2YO finishes second to a horse that has already claimed the bonus then it will qualify for the bonus as well.

For example, Ukraine won the 2YO bonus at Winton last Sunday. His connections cannot win the bonus again but if a 2YO finishes second to Ukraine in a subsequent race it can claim the bonus (as long as it hasn't already claimed the bonus from another race).

The reasoning behind the changes is to widen the net so more horses, and their connections, can benefit from the new scheme.

The final details and the amendments to the current 2YO Bonus Scheme will be published in the next week.

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