Day At The Track

Wyndham to get its meeting back

04:20 PM 21 Jan 2021 NZDT
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First Class winning the Kindergarten Stakes, Harness racing
First Class winning the 2020 Kindergarten Stakes
Bruce Stewart photo

The Wyndham Harness Racing Club will race on its home track this season after all, and the time-honoured Kindergarten Stakes will be one of the day’s features.

It’s been confirmed that the club will race on March 31, following an approach to Harness Racing New Zealand to have a raceday at its eastern Southland base, after it was initially left off the schedule for the current season.

The arrangement was sealed after the Wairio Trotting Club, based at Winton, agreed to transfer one of its race dates.

Wyndham president Russell Ferguson said “the reaction’s been nothing but favourable, we are all very excited about the day.”

“It’s a very good compromise,” says HRNZ Racing manager Catherine McDonald, “we listened to Wyndham’s concerns and know just how much they wanted to have their own meeting this season. And then Wairio came on board, so it’s worked out well for all parties. ”

At least nine races will be held, with more possible depending on nominations. The feature races will be the Wyndham Cup and the Kindergarten Stakes.

As a Group Three for the two-year-olds, the Kindergarten Stakes has a rich history. Included on the winner’s list are the likes of Lordship (1961), Young Quinn (1972), and Honkin Vision (1989).

“It’s a very iconic race, and it’s a Sires Stakes qualifying race as well so it’s a very important race on the calendar.”

Ferguson expects the stake to be around $25,000, while the Wyndham Cup will be “in the vicinity of 15,000”.

Despite not having held a meeting since March 14 last year Ferguson doesn’t see that as a problem at all.

“It’s a very busy training complex…. We have a great committee and the ground will be in immaculate condition.”



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