CLUB Menangle Executive Director and one of the Club’s appointed directors to the Australian Pacing Gold company, Bill Ellis, has highlighted the fantastic opportunities now available to race age-based horses in New South Wales.
Ellis’s vast experience in harness racing in Australasia is respected across Australasia.
He was the doyen of harness racing reporting in Australasia, when harness racing was prominent in sporting news.
Ellis has told trotguide.com.au that the changes made to the APG format via this year’s sales, provide an outstanding opportunity to race horses, particularly in age-based Group races in the Premier State.
Over recent months APG has consulted with owners, vendors and trainers on the future of the APG Race Series.
A massive 75 per cent of respondents (clear by any means), voted to move away from the APG National Series format. Accordingly, a new State-based series will be introduced from this year’s APG Sales.
Across Australia the APG series will offer 32 Group Races per season across the 2yo, 3yo and 4yo age groups.
Ellis was particularly excited by the fact purchaser at the Sydney APG Sales would not have to travel interstate for the series . . . unless, of course, they wanted to do so.
NSW Challenge bred horses purchased through the sales will have a delectable choice of opportunities in NSW and Club Menangle will be doing everything in its power to increase opportunity and interest. Afterall, Tabcorp Park Menangle is the fastest and largest racing circuit in the Southern Hemisphere and the club wants to showcase the standardbred at its best.
Club Menangle looks forward to hosting the NSW APG Series where the age-based and separate sex races will include:
- 2yo Finals of $125,000;
- 3yo Finals of $125,000;
- 4yo Finals of $50,000.
But wait, there’s more. NSW and Victoria will each host an End Season Series for 2yo and 3yo Divisions, featuring $30,000 Finals.
Club Menangle has worked hard with the State’s regulator, HRNSW to provide participants with increased opportunities at country, metropolitan and Group meetings. Ellis noted that without the leadership of HRNSW, opportunities available in NSW would not be possible.
Accordingly, NSW will have a plethora of Group racing available across the State in 2020.
Kicking off in March is the cornerstone race series, the Bathurst Gold Crown. Universally accepted as the first serious test for 2yos in Australia. The series features separate 2yo and 3yo Group 1 races.
Oh, and the $1m Miracle Mile in March – and an exciting Carnival packed with Group 1 races to boot!
Next up will be the first running of the 3yo and 4yo NSW Challenge eligible Group 1 races at Riverina Raceway, Wagga Wagga in April. Separate racing for the boys and girls at $100,000.
Let’s not forget the first ever running of the $1m Pace at Tabcorp Park Menangle in May!
June heralds the Finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge separate sex races for the 2yo and 3yo eligible youngsters. The 2yo races worth $125,00 and the 3yo races worth $150,000.
It does not end there, Ellis noted next-up it’s Christmas in July!
And July will see the finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge Finals worth $50,000 and funded by Club Menangle.
This series is for NSW Breeders Challenge-eligible horses which were sired by stallions standing in NSW and mares served in NSW.
And still there’s more! HRNSW will host the Regional Finals for 2yo and 3yo NSW Breeders Challenge eligible horses at Newcastle Paceway. Separate sex races at Group 2 level worth $50,000.
And if that’s not enough, it’s on to the Australian Breeders Crown program in Victoria to wind-up a year of excitement, records and interest in harness racing.
With some exciting yearlings being presented at the APG Sales across Australia, Ellis figures our North American cousins will be looking at the opportunity, the exchange rate and the value available down-under.