For ages now, there has been a strong call for Clubs to programme more races for fillies and mares, and with good reason. Given dwindling breeding numbers, we can ill afford to lose our mares overseas and, according to their connections, unless they have opportunities to race their own sex, that outcome is almost inevitable.
Over the last two Friday nights, Addington have put on races for fillies and mares, one for a range of classes and one for non-winners. And yet, the province with by far the most horses has managed to scrape together 7 horses for the first one, despite it catering for a wide range of rating levels (is that the problem?), and five nominations for the latter, meaning in the latter case, they are now forced to race against their male counterparts. What makes it worse is that, at this weeks Rangiora trials, five fillies and mares that were eligible for that maiden race lined up.
HRNZ boss Gary Woodham has come out publicly pleading for trainers to take their horses to the races instead of trialling them but, obviously that plea, which would benefit the Industry as a whole, has been pretty much ignored. It seems attitudes are very slow to change, if they are at all.
The blame for problems we are facing can’t all be laid at the feet of administrators.