Harness - News

Promised Auckland stakes boost to arrive in March

  • Wed, 09 May 2018
  • Garrick Knight
Racing at Alexandra Park. Photo: Trish Dunell.

Racing at Alexandra Park. Photo: Trish Dunell.

Alexandra Park have reaffirmed their previous commitment to increase stakes by $40,000 per meeting next season.

The announcement was initially made in February last year with a slated roll out of August this year, the start of the 2018-19 season.

That’s been pushed back until March 2019, but it’s been given the green light.

“We have spoken about them previously but are now in a position after our most recent board meeting to commit to them,” said Auckland Trotting Club President Bruce Carter.

Industry participants nation-wide will be looking forward excitedly at the prospect of having two $25,000 races, five $20,000 races and two $15,000 races at every Alexandra Park meeting.

Carter says that while the widely-publicised apartment developments at the top of the straight will likely start earning significant income in the next 12 months, these stakes are actually being funded by the club’s hospitality profits.

“A lot of it will be coming out of the business, which is running exceptionally well.

“Hospitality is a big part of our business and we’ve had a very, very good year and all those things have strengthened our forecasts – we are well ahead of budget.”

The next goal for the ATC is to raise their field sizes from the current 9.3 starters per race to a targeted 11 – about an extra 15 horses per meeting on a nine-race card.

“That’s not enough and we want it up around 11.

“Our turnover needs to be increased to further increase stakes and to do that we need better horse numbers which will promote more betting.”