Rich Hill Stud has combined with the Wellington Racing Club to sponsor a new race series primarily aimed to increase opportunities for Rating 64 to 75 horses.
The inaugural Autumn Sprint Series will be run over the next two months at various venues throughout the country and will involve 21 qualifying heats leading into the $50,000 Rich Hill Stud Autumn Sprint final to be held at Trentham on May 28.
“Any initiative which helps prizemoney in New Zealand racing is a major positive and for Rich Hill it is also an acknowledgement of the support we get for our stallions and sales progeny from breeders and buyers throughout New Zealand,” Rich Hill Managing Director John Thompson said.
“Our current stallion line-up of Ace High, Proisir, Satono Aladdin, Shocking and Vadamos have achieved outstanding results both on the racetrack and in the sale ring over the last few years.
“We are confident that these results will continue, as will the ongoing support from the New Zealand breeding industry.”
The first event in the series was held on Saturday’s Group One Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes day, but in respect to long-term Awapuni sponsor The Oaks Stud, the official launch will be held this Friday at the G3 Japac Homes Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes meeting.
The official launch will begin with race five on the card, the Rating 65 The Rich Hill Stud Autumn Sprint series qualifier over 1100 metres.
“In initial discussions with John, he said he had received great support at Karaka from the Central Districts and we’re delighted to have Rich Hill on board,” Wellington Racing Club committee member Des Coppins said.
“Rich Hill puts a lot into racing in the north, sponsoring the iconic Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie among other races. This series covers all the country, but most of the races will be in the Central Districts.”
Qualification for the final will be on a points basis of 15 for first, six for second, three for third and two for fourth with all other runners in each race receiving one point.