With the assistance of working groups of trainers and clubs, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has developed a return to racing plan which includes a flat stakes level of $15,000 for all races at 13 meetings during July.
A number of initiatives will also be introduced with the focus on reducing costs and spreading returns for owners. They include ensuring a wider distribution of stakes to more owners, payments will be made back to 14th, no nomination/acceptance fees for those horses which start, and meetings scheduled to be held closer to the horse population.
Race programming during July only will allow for open nominations to ensure those horses wanting to race are able to gain a start. More detail regarding the racing policy can be found here: Racing Conditions and Regulations for a Return to Racing July 2020
“We understand that this is a different approach, but NZTR recognised this as an opportunity to provide some innovation and flexibility around the payment of stakes to owners, trainers and jockeys during July,” NZTR chief executive Bernard Saundry said in a statement. “Confirmation of RITA’s transitional funding to the codes follows discussions with codes, and industry consultation on a draft racing calendar for a resumption of racing. The distribution from RITA reflects the reduced racing over the period and the phased return to racing for each code.
“NZTR and the other codes are also working with RITA on funding and race dates for the 2020/21 season and further updates on these important issues will be provided as it comes to hand. “This has been a testing time for all our participants, and NZTR thanks you for your patience while we have worked through this process for the resumption of racing in July.
“It was pleasing to see our horses back at the training track under alert level 3 this week and we appreciate the work of those at the coalface who are implementing the protocols at training tracks and race clubs across the country.”