HARNESS Racing SA has delivered some terrific news for participants in the form of a stake rise.
Having adjusted its racing calendar to be “better aligned” with the state’s horse population, HRSA will lift the minimum stake paid for penalty bearing races by 20 per cent.
As of November 19 the minimum stake will increase from $2500 to $3000, with the governing body once again revealing its focus on grassroots participants.
That same desire to ensure as much prize money as possible remains among locals led to the Pacing Cup’s purse – which typically heads interstate – being reduced this season.
“The board is pleased to announce positive news for the industry and reward those who have been loyal to harness racing in South Australia,” HRSA chairman Gary Crocker said.
“These changes reflect the initiatives being undertaken by HRSA to ensure harness racing in SA remains vibrant and continues to be a significant contributor to the overall matrix of Australian harness racing.”
The stakes hike was made possible via HRSA’s decision to rationalise the racing calendar whereby the number of race meetings conducted is better aligned to the horse population.
As a result of the “rationalised program” the number of races and starters has improved at each meeting, while favourites starting at $1.50 or less has halved, which in turn improves wagering turnover.
“All of these factors have collectively contributed to grow wagering on the SA harness product which resultantly has increased revenues that can now be directed back towards industry stakeholders,” Crocker said.