New Zealand confirms stakes levels for a return to racing – Singapore cancels features

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Chairman Dr Alan Jackson and CEO, Bernard Saundry, on Thursday issued a statement regarding the stakes levels for the return to racing on July 3rd, 2020, from the Covid-19 shutdown in New Zealand.

The statement said that with the assistance of working groups of trainers and clubs, NZTR has developed a return to racing plan which includes a flat stakes level of $15,000 for all races at 13 meetings during July.

In addition, the following initiatives will also be introduced with the focus on reducing costs and spreading returns for owners:
• To ensure a wider distribution of stakes to more owners, payments will be made back to 14th
• No nomination/acceptance fees for those horses which start
• Meetings scheduled to be held closer to the horse population

Race programming during July only will allow for open nominations to ensure those horses wanting to race are able to gain a start.

We understand that this is a different approach. But NZTR recognised this as an opportunity to provide some innovation and flexibility around the payment of stakes to owners, trainers and jockeys during July.

Confirmation of RITA’s transitional funding to the codes follows discussions with codes, and industry consultation on a draft racing calendar for a resumption of racing. The distribution from RITA reflects the reduced racing over the period and the phased return to racing for each code.

NZTR and the other codes are also working with RITA on funding and race dates for the 2020/21 season and further updates on these important issues will be provided as it comes to hand.

"This has been a testing time for all our participants, and NZTR thanks you for your patience while we have worked through this process for the resumption of racing in July. It was pleasing to see our horses back at the training track under alert level 3 this week and we appreciate the work of those at the coalface who are implementing the protocols at training tracks and race clubs across the country," said the statement.

In other news the Singapore Turf Club will cancel this year’s Moonbeam Vase and Rocket Man Sprint, both Group 3 feature races scheduled to take place on 1 and 2 May 2020 respectively, in light of COVID-19 circuit breaker measures.

The measures are in line with the Ministry of Health’s advisory on “Strong National Push to Stem Spread of COVID-19”, dated 21 April 2020.

"The safety and well-being of our visitors and the horse racing community remains the Club’s top priority as we take precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the virus," said the Club in a statement.

Singapore's racing remains suspended until June 1st, 2020.