NEWS | Northern clubs get green light for new Winter Championship Series

The third group of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s (NZTR) Innovation Fund recipients has been announced with three initiatives meeting the criteria, including a joint effort from Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) and two other northern clubs.

Demonetization returns to scale with Sam Collett after their win in the Group II $100,000 Manco Easter Handicap earlier this year. Demonetization is trained by Nigel Tiley.

A combined approach from ATR, Waikato Racing Club and Whangarei Racing Club saw the clubs take a regional view when planning their application.

The northern clubs’ “Winter Championship Series” is based on Flemington’s Winter Championship Finals Day, with five finals carrying stakes of $60,000.

The series will be held across Ellerslie, Ruakaka and Te Rapa, with the first finals day proposed to be at Te Rapa.

The $500,000 Stakes Innovation Fund was announced when NZTR’s stakes increases were flagged in early July and clubs were invited to apply to the fund to further improve their race meeting performance.

The Otago Racing Club’s Southern Mile was the first recipient announced, followed by a second tranche with the Wanganui Jockey Club, the Waverley Racing Club, the Ashburton Racing Club, the West Coast circuit and Gallop South all benefitting.