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Two Year-olds

NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Assn
Published by Pete Cook in News · 24 January 2020
Isn’t it about time that some sense of realism kicked in about two year-old racing in this Country?

This week we have the ludicrous (not to mention very expensive) spectacle of four horses going round at Alexandra Park for a promoted stake of $25,000. Who benefits? The turnover will be almost negligible, the Club will lose plenty, and there will be horses sitting in their boxes at home that could have happily raced for half that amount of money. To their credit, Southern Harness faced a similar scenario at the Invercargill meeting and decided to take the common sense approach, and scrap the race.

Who knows the reasons why this is happening. It’s very easy to blame the dominance of one stable as being the main one, except that, this week the All Stars didn’t have an entry in either race. One of the co-trainers of that establishment made an interesting comment in a recent interview, suggesting that unless your two year old is in the top four or five in the Country, you are wasting your time racing them. I know all the age-old arguments about buyers at the Sales wanting quick returns, but if races aren’t getting off the ground, that won’t happen, no matter how good your horse is. I think it’s called Catch 22!

I don’t suppose there are records being kept of how many horses have been ruined by entering them in these early season races and running stupid times, who is going to admit it, but with the number of foals around, can the Industry afford to lose any at all because of that?

Maybe it isn’t palatable to some owners to have to wait more than twelve months for their horse to race, but are they the type of owner who is going to stay in the game and sustain it? Racing horses has always been a patience game, and nothing at all is going to change that, like it or not.

Pete Cook

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