Australian state's $595,000 race proves elusive target for New Zealand horses.

A change to the structure of northern harness racing would have increased stakes as an instant benefit.

Auckland bosses want to increase stakes at Alexandra Park within the next 15 months to give the industry an immediate boost.

And they want to make that in the lower and intermediate range, not for big races whose winners are already well served.

By bringing all northern harness racing under Alexandra Park Inc, the industry will have not only one common brand but all licences, formerly held by different clubs, could see stakes boosts.


"We would be looking to inject in the vicinity of $500,000 into stakes within 15 months," said ATC president Kerry Hoggard. "And then another $500,000 the following season, meaning we will raise stakes by 20 per cent.

"We need to do that to help owners, trainers, their staff and stop breeders from walking away."

Alexandra Park Inc would sell a section of land bordering Greenlane West and the cash injection would help not only with stakes but funding a new Alexandra Park business development which will provide the most significant revenue stream for the future of harness racing.

Money gained from rationalising other clubs would be used to turn Pukekohe into a world-class training centre to entice young trainers from other regions to take advantage of the facility and the increased stakes.

Members of tenant clubs would not lose out, with all receiving two years' free membership of the new Alexandra Park Inc and all life memberships being retained.

An extensive examination of the finances of all clubs and organisations involved makes for slightly depressing reading and raises the most important question club members need to consider when called upon to vote.

If they don't do this, what do they do?