General Racing Information

All unraced horses or horses under a ban must meet a qualification standard before being eligible to race.

Horses may only be qualified by a qualifying Supervisor or a Harness Racing SA Ltd (HRSA) Steward.

HRSA will determine venues where a horse may qualify.

To qualify a horse must compete in a field of at least 3 horses, unless otherwise approved by the Chair of Stewards, and meet the following criteria:

  • Be tractable throughout the starting procedure and not delay the start or cause any inconvenience to any starter
  • Be in position at the start
  • Not break gait or be wayward or erratic
  • Be competitive
  • Run the qualifying times as stipulated in the ‘HRSA Official Trials Policy’.

A horse which qualifies to race at one method of starting must qualify at the other method by at least competing in a Qualifying Trial. A horse cannot compete in 2 trials on the same day for the purpose of Qualifying.

Horses must be identified off their Registration Assessment Certificate by a HRSA Steward or qualifying Supervisor before competing in a qualifying or barrier trial.

To be eligible for a mobile start race, a horse must qualify in a Mobile Start Official Trial.

To be eligible for a standing start race, a horse must qualify in a Standing Start Official Trial.

A trainer may have a horse re-included in the barrier draw at a barrier or official trial or in a race start by completing the respective starting procedure satisfactorily.

To be re-included in the draw a horse needs to complete either two race starts or one official trial and one race start.  These must be consecutive.  Stewards will take into account the overall record of the horse before re-including it in the draw.

A horse cannot compete in two trials or a trial and race on the one day for the purpose of re-inclusion in the barrier draw.

To be deemed a satisfactory start, a horse must complete the required starting procedure without delay or causing interference to another horse and negotiate the next 100 metres without losing gait or rhythm.

The onus is on the Trainer to notify stewards prior to the horse trialling or racing, if they wish the horse to be assessed for re-inclusion in the barrier draw.

An un-named horse cannot contest an official trial.

To change the gait of a horse, the owner must make application in writing to the Chair of Stewards.

The horse will then be required to trial to the satisfaction of the Stewards, at the new gait.

A concession driver is defined as a licensed driver who has held a licence for a period of less than five years.

A concession driver may, with the approval of the Controlling Body, claim a concession as per below, in any race where driver concession claims are permitted for the first five years from the date of first being granted a licence, provided the driver has not driven more than 250 winners in their career.

Any driver that has held a licence for more than 5 years but less than 10 years and has driven less than 100 winners may apply for an extension to their concession. 

A horse driven by a Concession Driver claiming a concession shall have its Rating reduced by either five (5) Rating points or three (3) Rating points as determined by the concurrent total of the Driver’s race wins being:

(a) Five (5) Rating points concession for 0 – 100 wins

(b) Three (3) Rating points concession for 101 – 250 wins.


A horse driven by a concession driver claiming a concession in a Claiming Race where driver concessions are permitted, will have its Claiming Price reduced by $1,000 for the purposes of the barrier draw in events with preferential barrier draw on Claiming Price.

In a standing start event where concession claims are permitted, the maximum benefit a horse can receive from utilising a driver concession is 10 metres.

Drivers under the age of 23 are eligible to claim a concession until August 31 in the season in which they turn 23 provided they have not driven more than 250 career winners.

The Controlling Body may at any time withdraw its approval for a concession driver to claim a concession.

The number of wins shall be inclusive of all wins irrespective of whether or not a concession was claimed.

A dead-heat for first place will not count as a win.

A concession claim cannot be claimed after the close of nominations.

When a concession driver wins his/her final concession claim race at a meeting, the driver will be permitted to claim the relevant concession for the remainder of such meeting and any other meeting for which the declaration of driver time has passed.

If a concession driver claiming a concession is engaged to drive a horse in a race thereby reducing its class for that race, and is subsequently unable to fulfil that driving engagement and there is not a concession driver available to take the drive, the Steward In Charge of the meeting may allow a driver of similar status to take the drive.

A Driver Concession shall not be permitted for a Filly or Mare which has already benefited from a Mares Concession in a race.

A young driver is defined as a licensed driver who has not attained the age of 25 years at the commencement of the season.

An automatic Concession of five (5) Rating points will be deducted from the aggregate Rating of a filly or mare in a race where a Mares Concession is permitted.


In a standing start event where concession claims are permitted, the maximum benefit a horse can receive from utilising a mares concession is 10 metres.

All nominations should be on an official Nomination Form or via harnessweb.

A Nomination Form should include the race code, horse name, driver name (if driver’s name is not known, insert “USD” (Unspecified Driver), and where applicable, claiming price.

When claiming a driver’s concession, the nomination must include “CDC” (Concession Driver Claim), or tick the appropriate box.

Nominations may be faxed to HRSA on (08) 8285 2961 or (08) 8250 5692.

All nominations close with HRSA at the time as advertised or at any time as extended by HRSA.

Nominations may be lodged by contacting the Racing Office on (08) 8285 0732.

Trainers who nominate by facsimile should ensure that the fax machine is programmed with the correct time, date and machine ID so that any subsequent confirmation may be traceable.

NOTE: As changes are sometimes made to race programs, you should always refer to HRSA publications or the harness racing website.

Owners and trainers wishing to nominate a horse for a Claiming race must have the correct Claiming Authority form lodged with HRSA prior to close of nominations.

The claiming price of a horse may be increased by the trainer on the nomination form; however, the claiming price can only be decreased by the owner with lodgement of a “new” Claiming Authority form.

When nominations for claiming races are to be publicly displayed and the barrier draw is dependent upon the claiming prices; then the Racing Office will remove the listed claiming price and only reinstate it after the close of Acceptances.

The minimum claiming price a horse can be entered for is $1,000. Horses can be nominated in claiming races in multiples of $500.

Horses will be declared eligible or ineligible for a race at acceptance time.  If a horse wins a race after acceptance time, it will remain eligible for the race in which it is an acceptor.

In the case of standing start races, the horse will retain its original handicap mark except in a discretionary handicap race, the horse may be re-handicapped.

If a horse incurs a ban after acceptance time, it will be ineligible to start in the race.

If a horse wins a race prior to acceptance time for a meeting thereby making it ineligible for a race for which it was nominated for at the meeting, the trainer may, before acceptance time, request the HRSA Racing Office to transfer the horse to a race for which it is eligible.

If a horse accepts for a race and either the race is deleted or the horse receives a ballot, the HRSA Racing Office can, with the approval of the trainer, transfer the horse to another race at the meeting for which it is eligible.

Any horse owned, part-owned or trained by a person on the Unpaid Forfeits List of any Controlling Body will not be eligible to be nominated for a race or compete in a race until the outstanding debt is paid.

All fields, excluding those for races prescribed in Schedule 1(available on HRSA website), will be selected on monies earned in the past five (5) starts. For horses with less than five (5) race day starts earnings will be calculated by averaging the monies earned in the starts to date and equating these to the horse having had five race starts.

Horses nominated to race for the first, second and third occasion will be assured of a start, subject to the programmed race proceeding.

Unless specifically stated, all fields will be selected in descending prize money order (highest earner selected first). However, there will be occasions whereby specific races are selected from `bottom up’ where horses will be selected in ascending prize money won in their previous five starts.

For avoidance of doubt earnings will be determined as stakes earned, including incentive starter payments, but excluding bonuses.

Races prescribed in Schedule 1 will be selected by the HRSA Field Selection Panel, taking into account the following:.

  • the credentials of all horses
  • the class of race contested
  • the class of opposition in races contested
  • current form

Further considerations may include: 

  • Margins beaten
  • Mile rate (relative to the track)
  • Interference received

Stable Doubles

If a trainer does not want to start two horses in the same race then it MUST be noted in the comments box when nominating.

For example:

A trainer who has multiple horses nominated for a race and who doesn’t want their horses to race against each other MUST note in the comments box “only 1 runner” and indicate which horse is preferred to start.

When nominations for a race are extended, preference in field selection will be given to original nominations.

The order or preference for field selection for horses with an unfulfilled engagement or by late nomination is as follows:

Unfulfilled engagement

Late Nomination

Trainers Preference Policy

The process available for trainers is that where a horse is entered into multiple events, the trainer may give the Racing Office a preference for a race. Where possible the Racing Office will honour the preference. However, trainers should be aware that on some occasions the Racing Office may leave a horse in a non-preferred race to ensure the standard of the meeting. A Trainers other option is to scratch the horse from the non-preferred race.

A horse that has an engagement as a starter in a registered race (not emergency) at acceptance time for a given meeting will be deemed as having an unfulfilled engagement.

For a race where the number of final acceptors is less than 8 in number, the race may be deleted unless the quality of the acceptors is even and it is considered by HRSA that by conducting the race it will be of benefit to the conducting club and the industry, or the race may be conducted for a lesser stake.

Any programmed race where the Racing Office elect to conduct more than one division, the race will be divided by lifetime wins, unless otherwise indicated.

This policy is to be used regardless of whether field selection for the race is in descending or ascending prize money order.

Should two or more horses be tied on the number of lifetime wins, then monies earned in the last 5 starts will be used to determine which division the affected horses will be drawn into. Being that the horse(s) with the least earnings in the last 5 starts drawn into the lower lifetime win division.

In the situation where a trainer has multiple runners in the lower lifetime win division, they can elect to transfer the horse(s) with the most lifetime wins into a higher lifetime win division.

One emergency may be declared for any TAB event.  When a horse accepts for any race, it includes accepting for the emergency position if applicable.

A trainer may elect to withdraw a horse from a race where it is declared an emergency without penalty, prior to 9:00am on the day of the race

Notwithstanding the above, when a horse is declared as an emergency for a race and it is also selected to race in another race, the race in which it is an emergency takes preference.

If a horse is withdrawn from the race in which it is listed as emergency, it will not be eligible to compete in the other race at the meeting.

If a horse is declared as an emergency for multiple races and gains a start as a result of a scratching, it must start in that race and will be withdrawn without penalty from any other races.

A horse that is listed as an emergency for a race can be nominated at a subsequent meeting in the next 72 hours and if it gains a start as emergency, it may be scratched from the subsequent race penalty free.

It is the responsibility of the trainer to contact the HRSA Racing Office (08) 8285 0732 immediately after final scratching time (9:00am on the day of the race) to ascertain as to whether the horse is required for the race.





Globe Derby ParkS – 6 Across12
 M – 7 Across10
Port PirieS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
KapundaS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
Mt GambierS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
Victor HarborS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
StrathalbynS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
WhyallaS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9
WayvilleS – 5 Across8
GawlerS – 6 Across12
 M – 6 Across9

* Notwithstanding the above, the maximum field size for any 2yo mobile event conducted at any track in South Australia is 9 starters.

**  Notwithstanding the above, the maximum field size for any mobile event conducted over a distance of less than 1609 metres is 8 starters.

*** The maximum field limit for any track or start type for any race can be increased or decreased at the discretion of the Chair Of Stewards.

When conducting multiple heats of any series, the fields will be selected to provide divisions, taking into account, owner and trainer splits.

Horses selected in heats of a race are deemed to be final acceptors in all rounds of heats (if applicable) and the final.

When a horse is scratched from a heat of a race the scratching penalty will apply from midnight of the day of the heat.

When a horse is scratched from the final of a race the scratching penalty will apply from midnight of the day of the final.

The number of horses which qualify for a final will be determined by HRSA.

If any qualified horse is unable to take its place in the final, the next placed horse in the heat will be declared the qualifier.

Horses which qualify for a final will not be permitted to start in any other race on the day the final is scheduled.

Should there be less than 8 acceptors for heats of any series, HRSA may determine to abandon the series.

The type of barrier draw that applies to the heats will apply to the final.

Rule 195A shall apply to heats and finals.

Changes to the original nominated driver or confirmation of an “USD” or “CDC” must be notified by no later than 9.00 a.m. the morning after the release of the fields.

It is the trainer’s responsibility to notify the HRSA Racing Office of their driver change by the above deadline.  Driving changes effected after the deadline must be authorized by the Stewards and may attract a penalty.

Driving changes after 9.00 a.m. on the day of the meeting will only be allowed by the Stewards if the driver holds the same grade of licence and is of similar experience and status.

Scratchings can be made with Harness Racing SA staff, either in person (at the HRSA office) or by phone, during normal office hours. Normal office hours are 8.30am to 4.45pm, Monday to Friday.

Phone numbers to be used are (08) 8285 2899 (select 1. racing) or (08) 8285 0732 (direct racing ext.).

For after hour’s scratchings (Saturday’s, Sunday’s & Public Holidays); the above numbers can be used between 8.00am and 9.00am on the day of the meeting.

Please note that driver changes or scratchings are NOT to be left on the HRSA Office after Hours Message Service or sent by FAX.

Notification of late scratchings or driving changes for meetings conducted on Saturday, Sunday or Public Holidays may be notified on Mobile Phone Numbers 0408 671 226 OR to the Club where the meeting is being conducted.

NOTE: The mobile numbers are NOT a general inquiry or information service.

Unless otherwise approved by the Chair of Stewards, horses withdrawn after acceptance time but prior to 9.00 a.m. on the day of the meeting will be stood down from racing for 10 days from midnight of the day of the meeting and a $33 scratching fee is charged (see Clause 25).

A horse withdrawn after 9.00 a.m. (SA time) on the day of the meeting will be stood down from racing for 28 days from midnight of the day of the meeting. A $33 scratching fee will apply (see clause 25).

When a Veterinary Certificate is received by HRSA in relation to a horses scratching, it must detail the condition which caused the withdrawal, the time and date the Veterinarian inspected the horse and when the horse will be fit to resume racing.  Where these requirements are met and the veterinary inspection is completed prior to or on the day of the race, the stand down period may be reduced to the time the Veterinarian certifies the horse will be unable to race but, unless otherwise approved by Stewards, to not less than 6 days for scratchings prior to 9.00 a. m. on the day of the meeting and not less than 10 days for scratchings after 9.00 a. m. on the day of the meeting  pursuant to Rule 25.

For a horse that is withdrawn after 9.00 a.m. (SA time) on the day of the race for reasons other than Veterinary advice, HRSA Stewards may require any such documents or declaration within 48 hours of the withdrawal of the horse to verify the reason for withdrawal.

When a horse is sold or a change of trainer is notified after acceptance time the owner may, with the approval of the Stewards, withdraw the horse without penalty.

When a horse is withdrawn after acceptances close, without a Veterinary Certificate detailing the condition causing the withdrawal or the provision of any other document or declaration required by the Stewards, a scratching fee of $33 (inc GST) will be charged to the owner.

At race meetings where the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast, within 24 hours of the meeting, that the temperature at the venue where the meeting is to be held or the area where the horse is trained is 38oC or higher; a trainer may, before 9.00 a.m. on the day of the meeting, seek permission from the Stewards to withdraw the horse from its engagement without a scratching penalty applied.

A trainer or his/her representative must declare the presence of a horse at a meeting no later than 60 minutes prior to the advertised starting time of the race.

A driver engaged to drive a horse in a race shall report his attendance at the racecourse to the Stewards or the person authorised by the Stewards no later than 30 minutes prior to the official start time of the race.

An Acceptance Fee of 1.0% shall apply to all races of $30,000 or more.

A first charge will be deducted from the advertised stakemoney to provide for drivers fees.

Driver’s fees are paid accordingly:

Races over $3,500                 $45

Races $3,500 and under        $30

“C Grade” Driver

The holder of a “C Grade” Driver licence may only drive in trials, shows, carry out track work and drive at any meeting to prepare a horse for a race at that meeting other than during the horse’s immediate pre-race preliminary.

An applicant for a “C Grade” Driver licence must be at least 15 years of age and have held a stable-hand licence for a minimum of 6 months or provide evidence of previous experience.

A “C Grade” Driver must successfully complete 20 satisfactory trial drives and held their “C Grade” licence for a minimum of 6 months prior to applying to be upgraded to a “B Grade” Driver, unless a driver is attempting to renew their licence after an extended absence from driving, the number of drives needed will be at the discretion of HRSA.

“B Grade” Driver

The holder of a “B Grade” Driver licence may drive in trials, shows and is licenced to drive in races where the value of the race is up to and including $5000.

A “B Grade” driver must have held their licence for 6 months and have driven on 50 occasions, as a minimum, prior to being considered for a “Provisional A Grade” licence. The individuals driving skills and their driver’s offence record will form part of the decision process.

Provisional “A Grade” Driver

The holder of a Provisional “A Grade” Driver licence is licenced to drive at any race meeting, however only in races that have a stake money value of up to and including $8000.

A Provisional “A Grade” driver must have held their driver’s licence for a total of 12 months and have driven on 100 occasions, as a minimum, prior to being considered for an “A Grade” licence. The individuals driving skills and their driver’s offence record will form part of the decision process.

A Grade Driver

The holder of an A Grade Driver licence is licenced to drive at any race meeting.

A Stable Return, with all sections completed, must be lodged with HRSA, or such notification made via HarnessWeb, immediately a horse comes under the control of a trainer with the intention of preparing the horse to participate in racing.

Any trainer relinquishing the training of a horse shall notify HRSA in writing, or via HarnessWeb, immediately upon the horse leaving his/her care.

The above requirements are mandatory and particularly important where such horse is engaged to race so as to enable the stable change to be publicly announced.

Horses in SA are handicapped as per the Australian Handicapping Rules, except for the following:

  • A Rating Concession will be applied to all horses competing in SA ratings-based races which have 9 or less lifetime wins (excluding 2YO wins).
  • There will be an automatic reset to 10 points concession when 2YO’s turn three (regardless of how many races won as a 2yo).
  • The Concessions Matrix is exclusive to any Mares or Junior concessions.
  • All 2yo’s competing in open age ratings races will receive a 10-point concession (capped at 30)
  • All 3yo’s competing in open age ratings races will receive not less than a 5-point concession (capped at 40)
  • Any horse claiming using the matrix provided cannot reduce its rating below 40.
  • The maximum points claimable is as follows:


0 Wins 10 pts

1 Win 9 Pts

2 Wins 8 Pts

3 Wins 7 Pts

4 Wins 6 Pts

5 Wins 5 Pts

6 Wins 4 Pts

7 Wins 3 Pts

8 Wins 2 Pts

9 Wins 1 Pt

10 or more Wins 0 Pts

An automatic concession of 35 Rating points will be deducted from the aggregate Rating of a Trotter when competing in a race programmed for Pacers in SA.

Under AHR Rule 131, barrier positions shall be filled at the time and in the manner determined by the Controlling Body. HRSA policy on changes to barrier positions due to scratchings is:

Barrier lines do not change with scratchings ie no horse drawn the second row shall be promoted to the front row.

Barrier positions move down the respective line with scratchings.

If a race is declared a no race by the Stewards, all horses that started in the event will be eligible for a rebate of $100. Drivers fees are to be paid.

Should a race meeting be abandoned up to one hour prior to starting time or later, including after the meeting has started, a $100 rebate payment will be paid to each trainer with horses entered at that meeting who had a horse which had not started in a race.