Auckland is set to host its first thoroughbred race meeting this season at Pukekohe Park on November 11.
Racing has ceased in the city of sails as a result of COVID-19 measures, but at the behest of Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) and TAB NZ have agreed to schedule a race meeting at the South Auckland track next month.
The meeting will predominantly cater for Auckland-trained horses and will be serviced by Auckland-based jockeys and officials.
"This meeting is unique in that it is being held purely to provide an opportunity for our participants whose attendance at race meetings has been prohibited during Auckland's time in lockdown," NZTR chief executive Bernard Saundry said.
"It is also unique as it has been created specifically to cater for our Auckland-trained horses to give them a chance to race in their own region. While nominations will be welcome from all, preference will be given to those local horses and given their situation we expect other licence holders to understand this approach."
ATR Executive GM - Racing & Operations Craig Baker said they had been looking for a way to cater for local trainers that would work under the current alert levels and provide some normality during a trying period.
"The opportunity for trainers to travel to the races with their horses and jockeys to get out and ride in races is something ATR felt was important for the well-being of our Auckland participants after weeks of lockdown conditions. This meeting provides a service for those participants," he said.
With Auckland remaining in Alert Level 3 lockdown and the regional borders closed, jockeys, trainers and strappers who reside outside the Auckland region will not be able to attend the Pukekohe meeting.
The limited number of jockeys available within the Auckland region has meant starting limits have been capped at eight, while there is scope to divide races if required there will be no more than 10 races held on the day.
Nominations for the meeting close with the National Racing Bureau at 12 noon on Monday, 8 November, withdrawals close at 10am on Tuesday, 9 November.
The programme is as follows:
· Maiden 2yo 800 - $12,000
· Maiden 1100 - $12,000
· Maiden 1400 - $12,000
· Maiden 1600 - $12,000
· Maiden 2100 - $12,000
· Open Entry 1100 - $12,000
· Open Entry 1400 - $12,000
· Open Entry 1600 - $12,000