The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) today (Thursday January 13) announced a range of harness racing stakemoney cuts. Effective from 1 February 2011, the following reductions will apply to basic stakes races conducted at NZMTC meetings:
All non listed and non group races on Premier Meetings will be conducted for a stake of $15,000.
Feature Friday Night meeting stakes will reduce to $8,000 per race (previously $10,000 per race).
Non feature Friday Night stakes will reduce by $500 per race with non winners racing for $6,500 (previously $7,000).
Thursday Night stakes will reduce by $1,000 per race with non winners racing for $6,000 (previously $7,000).
All races on Tuesday meetings will now be conducted for a stake of $3,000.The stake reductions while extremely disappointing have been necessitated as a result of the alarming decline in off course turnover and a corresponding reduction in funding to Harness Clubs in the current season.
Off course turnover on domestic racemeetings is down 12% in the current season and Racing Clubs were recently advised by the New Zealand Racing Board that there would be a shortfall of some $4m to $5m in funding this year.
NZMTC Chief Executive Shane Gloury explains:
"The shortfall in funding recently announced by the Racing Board has a significant impact on our Club and leaves us with no alternative but to cut stakes.
"We hope that the strategies put in place in recent times by the Racing Board to grow turnover and profitability achieve this objective and enables our Club to restore stake levels in the not too distant future."We are fully aware that many Industry participants are feeling the pinch in these tough economic times and we are totally committed to working with the Racing Board, Harness Racing New Zealand and industry participants to ensure that turnover, profitability, efficiencies and stake levels are maximized for the benefit of Industry participants."