Trainer applauds HRSA prizemoney increase and programming change

PREMIERSHIP leading trainer Shane Loone has applauded Harness Racing SA for its vision, after the governing body announced changes to its programming.

As of October 1 all Monday Globe Derby cards, and equivalent midweek meetings, will benefit from a stakes hike of 12-and-a-half percent.

Furthermore, the board has scrapped the $2000 races, with a minimum stake of $3000 to be offered.

The meetings will also include at least two $4000 races.

In a welcome move, the threshold of rating exempt races has been lifted from $2000 to $3000 meaning several races conducted at these meetings will be rating exempt.

“It’s a great move,” Loone said. “I wish they’d done it earlier.

“Now the younger and average horses can get up to their first five wins and still come out as a 50.

“I had a filly win two of 10 and was up to a 52, now a horse like her can win a few more races before getting to such a mark.”

Loone believes HRSA’s initiative will increase the state’s racing population as the changes have “without doubt increased a horses’ earning potential”.

“When the National Rating System was introduced, we lost our half-win, which really hit a lot of trainers, owners and horses hard,” Loone said.

“You could win a country race and then a restricted race before moving up in class, but that disappeared when the rating system came in.

“So effectively we are getting back our restricted win without going up in grade, and that has to be a plus in anyone’s eyes.”

The majority of $3000 races will be lifetime wins or juvenile races, which allows younger horses to progress through the ranks with less exposure to seasoned opposition.

The bulk of the $4000 races will be ratings-based and ‘nil wins over $3000’ races, which will provide horses competing in these categories an increased earning capacity, thereby benefiting all pools of horses participating at these meetings.

These alterations also provide an opportunity for regional clubs which race regularly, being Mount Gambier and Port Pirie.

Harness Racing SA Chief Executive Dean Elliott is optimistic these changes will be a welcome boost for all participants.

“There is currently a strong focus from the Board and my office to deliver sustainable prizemoney increases to the industry, within a system that promotes optimal pathways for horses to firstly develop, and then continue their craft in SA,” Elliott said.

“Whilst it is satisfying to deliver these announcements, there is a way to go here, and it’s the desire of HRSA to gradually improve outcomes across all areas including Saturday prizemoney, feature racing budgets, regional prizemoney, and drivers’ fees.”

The adjusted prizemoney and points system will look as follows as of October 1:

$4,000 / $3,000 Hybrid

$4,500 / $3,000 Hybrid

$6,999 / $4,500 (+ Feature Racing)


Story by : Paul Courts