It's the final day of the Covid-19 disrupted 2019/20 racing season, a season that racing industry participants from all three codes would rather rapidly kick to touch.

Greyhound racing completely shut down for five weeks, and the equine codes took longer to get back up and running.

The balance of the Group and feature races was suspended upon the return to racing, which included a pair of Group 1 520m events scheduled for the Hatrick Raceway.

The 2019/20 season records will show the key restricted age New Zealand Futurity and the New Zealand Breeders' Stakes as not being contested.

Advertisement

And that is a real shame as greyhounds within the applicable age-group have been denied their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being able to contest these elite level events.

On a positive note, it is pleasing to see the minimum grade stake levels being maintained at current levels for the new racing season.

And a positive change has been made to the structure of feature meetings for the new season with a premier meeting being conducted throughout the country each month.

The first of these high-class meeting to be hosted at Hatrick will be on September 25, which features the running of the Wanganui Cup over 520m at Group 1 level.

The minimum stakes for all support races at the elite meetings will be lifted by $3500. The majority of the new money will be paid to the first four place-getters, but there will be a $100 payment for greyhounds who finish fifth to eighth.

The premier meeting structure follows the successful trial run of the format conducted by the Wanganui GRC, which generated increased turnover, at their Spion Rose Cup meeting last December. That meeting will be conducted on December 4.

The very last New Zealand TAB race for the disrupted season will be dispatched from the Hatrick 305m traps at 9.37pm.

It comes as no surprise to see a number of Lisa Cle-prepared sprinters drawn to contest this dash.

Advertisement

Despite the racing shutdown, the Cole kennels have dominated New Zealand racing and they commenced yesterday's Cambridge meeting having mentored a record-shattering 915 winners ($2,183,537) for the season.

The Cole kennelmates Allegro Fern and Big Time Frosty are both escaping from the open class sprinting ranks for this C4 dash. A quick return to form by both certainly wouldn't surprise.

Looking to gate-crash the Cole end-of season party is likely to be the Gary and Sandra Fredrickson-prepared Wifi Bolt, who has drawn ideally for his racing style out in the eight trap.