Mile Racing for Pensioners

NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Association
 
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Mile Racing for Pensioners

NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Assn
Published by Pete Cook in News · 26 March 2021
I know mile (1609m) racing is the glamorous thing, although not so much as it used to be, and I understand that fast times are important for mares going into their breeding careers, but should it be programmed for average horses?
 
I cannot understand, and judging by comments received from other trainers I’m not alone, why you would programme a mile race for 6 year-old and older horses. For a start, very few lower grade horses of that age can do work at both ends, so the barrier draws in such events are more crucial than normal, particularly at Addington where the inside ones get a huge advantage. I mean it’s not as if a mile time is any use to a gelding of that vintage!
 
And the proof is in the pudding with a mile race at Addington a couple of weeks ago attracting 6 horses, yet a standing start 2600m for the same conditions the other night got almost a full field, and that’s with two thirds of them off handicaps. Not only that, but the winner of the mile race didn’t even break two minutes, a mark reached by two year-olds having their first start at the workouts! Not even any use to any mares in the field.
 
So, please, how about we forget about novelty races and variety for the sake of variety, and programme races that suit the horses they are supposed to be catering for.
 

Pete Cook



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