The third group of NZTR’s Innovation Fund recipients has been announced with three initiatives meeting the criteria.
Applications from the Whangarei Racing Club and Wellington Racing Club were approved, along with a combined effort from Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR), Waikato Racing Club and Whangarei Racing Club who took a regional view when planning their approach.
The northern clubs’ Winter Championship Series is based on Flemington’s Winter Championship Finals Day, with five finals carrying stakes of $60,000. The series will be held across Ellerslie, Ruakaka and Te Rapa, with the first finals day proposed to be at Te Rapa.
The Whangarei Racing Club presented two proposals aimed respectively at Stayers, and Fillies & Mares with each series commencing on 11 June 2022 and concluding on 17 September 2022.
The Dunstan Northland Stayers’ series injects money into the stakes of the Whangarei Cup, Ruakaka Cup and Tai Tokerau Cup lifting all three to $48,000. Based on a points system there will also be $3000 bonuses for both the owner and trainer with the most series points.
The Fillies & Mares Series Final, run on 17 September, will offer a stake of $60,000, also with $3000 bonuses for the winning owner and trainer. There will be $24,000 worth of bonuses across the series.
“The Ruakaka winter season from April to September is perfect timing for the incentivisation of the racing of female horses into the start of the breeding season” said Bill Colgan, Club Officer, Whangarei Racing Club.
The club is also offering a travel subsidy of $200 per starter in each of the series to provide an added incentive for connections.
The Wellington Racing Club’s initial three submissions have been developed further and melded into a single proposal promoting stakes, providing incentives, and lifting media activity across the club’s three-day Cup carnival.
Included in the Club’s proposal are $10,000 incentives for the leading trainer from each of the three regions across the carnival. The prizes will be points based, with additional points for Group and Listed winners.
As the first part of the Wellington Racing Club’s ambition to grow the stake of the Wellington Cup over future seasons, with the support of their sponsor, the stake of the Cup will increase to $300,000.
The $500,000 Stakes Innovation Fund was announced when NZTR’s stakes increases were flagged in early July and clubs were invited to apply to the Fund to further improve their race meeting performance.
The Otago Racing Club’s Southern Mile was the first recipient announced, followed by a second tranche with the Wanganui Jockey Club, the Waverley Racing Club, the Ashburton Racing Club, the West Coast circuit and Gallop South all benefitting.