Fears of a chaotic collapse of horse racing stakes have been allayed for the rest of this season at least.
The thoroughbred and harness racing codes have revealed the money horses can race for in what remains of this Covid-19 interrupted season, and while overall less money will be distributed, the stake money is as good as could have been hoped for after NZ racing was closed down for six weeks.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing will hold 13 meetings in July,racing for a stake of $15,000 per race, regardless of class.
For the connections of maiden horses that will be an increase as they can often race for $10,000 whereas for the better graded horses a $15,000 stake will be a reduction on their usual Saturday stakes but one most connections will cop for the month of July.
NZTR boss Bernard Saundry says the flat stakes plan is to spread the money as evenly as possible across the industry, but reiterated they are only guaranteed until the new season starts on August 1.
"This is our return to racing package to give connections of horses something to aim at and we will work with RITA [the TAB] to ascertain what level of funding is available for the new season," says Saundry.
The figures are enormously different from some of those being banded around in the industry, which has been plagued by a lack of credible information since Covid-19 closed it.
The $15,000 stakes will also be split differently, with winners and placegetters getting a smaller share so the connections off all horses can get some money to cover expenses.
Harness racing also announced its stakes for an earlier return on May 29, with stakes ranging from a minimum of $7000 to $12,000, with Addington and Alexandra Park racing for mostly $8500.
For tracks such as Invercargill and Cambridge, two of the four harness tracks that will be used for the remainder of the season, those stake levels will not be a great decrease but Alexandra Park will be the track where the stakes fall most.
The Auckland Trotting Club has had clearly the best stakes in New Zealand for several years, adding plenty of their own money to the bulk funding provided by Harness Racing New Zealand.
But with no income from its many businesses at Alexandra Park and enormous debt hanging over its property developments, they won't be topping up the HRNZ stakes input for months to come, possibly even the remainder of this year.