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Big stakes boost for feature harness races

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister for Racing

8 August 2008
Media statement

Big stakes boost for feature harness races

New Zealand's premiere harness races will receive a stakes increase totalling $1.6 million this year, Racing Minister Winston Peters announced at the Harness Racing New Zealand annual conference today.

"Government funding of $750,000 boosted by $850,000 of club and industry money will raise the stakes of key harness racing events by a total of $1.6 million in 2008/09," said Mr Peters.

"Big-money races provide the bedrock around which highly successful racing carnivals can be built, bringing proven, serious economic benefit not just to the racing industry but to the economy as a whole and local communities in particular.

"Seven premier races - four key New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club events and three Auckland Trotting Club marquee races – will be the major winners.

"This includes New Zealand's first ever million dollar harness racing event, the 2008 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup, with a total stake of $1.2 million, making it the richest aged pacing race in the world.

"Other highlights include a record offering by the Auckland Trotting Club of $600,000 for the Woodlands Northern Derby in March 2009. This triples the amount offered in 2008 and is the richest stake for a three year-old harness race in the Southern Hemisphere.

"These increases will firmly place some of New Zealand’s premier racing events on the world stage and attract immense interest from across Australasia.

"Budget 2008 made available $9 million over three years for co-sponsorship arrangements to lift the prize money offered by New Zealand's premier races.

"These are the first results of that funding and it is testament to the strength of harness racing in New Zealand that its sponsors and clubs have so readily matched the government contribution," said Mr Peters.


2008/09 Harness Racing Group I Stake Increases

/ Date / Age Group / Gait / Stakes 2008/09 / Stakes 2007/08

New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club
2008/09 Group I Stake Increases

Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup / 11-Nov-08 / Open / Pace / $1,200,000 / $750,000
Woodlands NZ Pacing Free-For-All / 14-Nov-08 / Open / Pace / $300,000 / $150,000
Hellers Dominion / 21-Nov-08 / Open / Trot / $300,000 / $150,000
Christian Cullen NZ Derby / 3-Apr-09 / 3YO / Pace / $300,000 / $200,000
Wayne Francis Memorial NZ Oaks / 15-May-09 / 3YO Fillies / Pace / $200,000 / $150,000
NRM NZ Sires Stakes Final / 11-Nov-08 / 3YO / Pace / $200,000 / $175,000
Garrards NZ Sires Stakes Final / 15-May-09 / 2YO / Pace / $200,000 / $175,000
PGG Wrightson NZ Breeders Stakes / 13-Feb-09 / F & M / Pace / $150,000 / $100,000
First Sovereign Trust NZ Trotting Free-For-All / 14-Nov-08 / Open / Trot / $100,000 / $75,000
The Travel Practice NZ Trotting Derby / 27-Mar-09 / 3YO / Trot / $100,000 / $75,000

Auckland Trotting Club
2008/09 Group I Stake Increases

Woodlands Northern Derby / 6-Mar-09 / 3YO / Pace / $600,000 / $200,000
Trillian Trust Auckland Cup / 6-Mar-09 / Open / Pace / $600,000 / $400,000
Rowe Cup / 1-May-09 / Open / Trot / $300,000 / $150,000
NZ Messenger Championship / 1-May-09 / 4YO / Pace / $200,000 / $150,000
Pascoes Northern Oaks / 27-Feb-09 / 3YO Fillies / Pace / $200,000 / $150,000
Magness Benrow NZ Sires Stakes Fillies Champs / 1-May-09 / 2YO Fillies / Pace / $200,000 / $125,000
Alabar Sires Stakes Fillies Final / 31-Dec-08 / 3YO Fillies / Pace / $175,000 / $125,000
Lindauer National Trot / 31-Dec-08 / Open / Trot / $100,000 / $75,000
Northern Trotting Derby / 1-May-09 / 3YO / Trot / $100,000 / $75,000


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