Juvenile Racing Boost in New Zealand
Trainers in the New Zealand harness racing industry will be finding it very hard to resist the racing series that has been created by the top brass of harness racing. Juvenile racing always started in September, but because of events such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Harness Jewels and Sire’s Stakes taking place after May, pre-Christmas harness racing for juveniles started to disappear. However, with the new lure of the Young Gun Series, trainers and owners will have incentive to restart the old tradition.
It has become increasingly difficult for trainers to find racing events for their juvenile horses, where they can earn enough money to make them eligible for the Harness Jewels. This has left trainers with few options, and has changed the way they have had to approach their racing seasons and they have had to plan their participation in events very carefully. But the Young Gun Series brings renewed hope for juvenile harness racing, with purses that cannot be ignored.
Events with a purse over $20 000 have become extremely rare, so with the Young Gun Series offering $30 000 per event, the stakes are high. And the bosses are not planning to waver from their plans. The races will go on even if just one horse enters. The Young Gun Series will kick off on 5 December 2008, and will consist of six racing heats, with a purse of $30 000 for each heat. All juvenile pacers are invited to participate, and no sustaining payments are required. The fillies and colts will therefore be able to participate in one of the richest free series for juveniles. The leading stakes earners of the six heats will take part in the $150 000 final racing event that will take place on 6 March 2008 – the Cardigan Bay Stakes.
It is hoped that the Young Gun Series will attract juvenile contenders and that this wonderful series will breathe new life into juvenile racing. As an added incentive to the already rich purses, the owners and connections names of the horses that participate in the Young Gun Series will also be entered into a draw, where the winner will receive $20 000 which they can spend at the Karaka Yearling Sales. The draw will take place on 13 February 2008. The Young Gun Series is just too good to be true, and not many trainers will be able to resist the lure of the purses and the opportunity for good racing events.