Four harness meetings, 59 races removed
The New Zealand Racing Board has released its 2015/16 racing calendar with a focus on delivering better value to the community and the wider racing industry.
Monetising the calendar is a key strategic focus over the coming year, and the NZ Racing Board is working closely with the Greyhound, Thoroughbred and Harness Codes on further shaping the calendar to maximise the potential from race meetings.
Harness Racing NZ has decided to consolidate in a bid to increase field sizes and improve the quality of racing. A total of four race meetings and 59 races have been removed from the 2015/16 season and the Auckland Trotting Cup has moved back to New Year’s Eve.
The number of Greyhound and Thoroughbred races is largely unchanged. Two of Thoroughbred’s marquee races, the Auckland Cup and the Karaka Million, have moved dates in the calendar in an initiative that will improve community and industry attendance.
The 2015/16 calendar, comprising 1,060 meetings and 10,877 races across the three racing Codes, has been devised to optimise returns to the industry while recognising specific requirements for racing to reflect the importance of community engagement and alignment with international meetings.
Following is a summary of the key dates, features and changes to the 2015/16 racing calendar:
- Thoroughbred Spring Racing commences at Hastings on Saturday 29 August 2015 with the first day of the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.
- New Zealand Cup and Show Week in Christchurch will run from November 7 – 14 2015.
- Auckland Trotting Cup returns to 31 December 2015 (from first week of March).
- Karaka Million Twilight Racing is on January 24 2016.
- Wellington Cup Day will be held on January 30 2016.
- Auckland Cup Week runs from March 5 to March 12 2016.
- The Harness Jewels take place at Cambridge on June 4 2016.
By Kate Gourdie for NZ Racing Board