HARNESS Racing New South Wales has announced changed to the 2020 Breeders’ Challenge Series.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the futurity has been moved back in the calendar and will be conducted between September and November under the established structure.
The Finals of the major series will be held at Club Menangle on October 24.
With racing limited to regions as a result of strict Coronavirus regulations, including the uncertainty as to the length of time these restrictions will remain in place, the tradition manner of the Breeders’ Challenge cannot be sustained.
The retention of the structure of the series, which stakeholders have an expectation to compete under, was paramount in the governing body’s decision.
The delivery of a decision to stakeholders was also a priority so owners and trainers can plan a path to the Breeders’ Challenge taking into account the current environment.
“The decision to move the Breeders’ Challenge Series was taken following lengthy discussions between board members and management so as to provide the opportunity as equally as possible to all eligible two and three-year-olds.” Chief Executive John Dumesny said.
“Regionalisation and not being permitted to cross state borders certainly didn’t provide that opportunity on the traditional dates.
“These are unprecedented and difficult circumstances the industry finds itself in and the transfer of the Breeders’ Challenge was the only feasible option to adopt at this time.
“As these dates are past the end of the racing season HRNSW will address the ramifications of the ratings system at a national level but a suitable outcome will undoubtedly be achieved in this respect.
“Simply transferring the entire series to 2021 and extending out for another year was an option but on an already congested racing calendar there were identified difficulties.
“The option of a regionalised series was open for consideration but the consensus was clear it would only be addressed if the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt movement around the state.”
The Blue Finals and Regional Series will be held in October/November to fit in and around the Victorian Breeders’ Crown Series.
HRNSW will advise of the new dates and other material considerations for the Breeders’ Challenge Series in due course.
- HRNSW Media