The 2022 NSW Breeders Challenge Series and True Blue Finals have been overhauled following a lengthy state-wide industry consultation process.
Significantly, three major changes will be implemented to ramp-up the concept and provide new opportunities to owners:
For True-Blue eligible horses – those being 100% NSW bred – prize money will be doubled to $100,000 for each of the four Finals to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday 12 November, 2022.
This is in addition to a 20% bonus for True-Blue eligible horses that accrue prize money during the NSW Breeders Challenge Series of races. This does not include the True Blue finals. This will be paid at the conclusion of the 2022 NSW Breeders Challenge Series.
HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny said these were positive steps which were directly related to the “Breed NSW” scheme, developed specifically to support New South Wales based breeders.
“The prizemoney increases and the owners boost to prize money complements the incentives to breed to NSW based stallions from NSW domiciled mares,” Mr Dumesny said.
“All stakeholders of NSW Breeders Challenge horses receive a share of the increased prize money, but for owners specifically, they will receive 20 per cent top-up on what their horse wins in the races open to horses which are not 100 per cent NSW bred.”
A four-year-old division for both sexes will return to the NSW Breeders Challenge, comprising of $50,000 Finals and $25,000 Qualifying Finals.
The four-year-old division was expanded to included five-year-old pacers and rebranded as the Riverina Championships in 2021, following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. These races will be conducted during the major series and will culminate with Finals on Saturday 29 October, 2022 at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
“A decision was reached by HRNSW to support regional racing with the introduction of the Riverina Championships on the opening of the new track in Wagga Wagga but this four-year-old only division enhances the racing product on what is basically grand-final night at Menangle Park,” Mr Dumesny said.
“The Riverina Championship also allows owners of five-year-old NSW Breeders Challenge eligible horses an opportunity at $100,000 prizemoney which is not the case in any other State.”
HRNSW recognised that with the change to the racing season, opportunities were limited during the winter months. Therefore, a new Pathway Series is being introduced – to be raced in May, June and July 2023.
The Pathway Series will be mixed sex races with two qualifying heats in each region culminating in $30,000 Finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
“Kudos must be given to the Harness Breeders NSW Association for reinventing the former Evolution Series but on a lower level of prizemoney with the current Pathway Series,” Mr Dumesny said
“Commencing next year with $30,000 Finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle for horses who qualified in their own region, the HRNSW version will certainly provide for Breeders Challenge eligible horses not established or starting out with opportunities prior to entering the major series.”The conditions and race dates for the 2022 NSW Breeders Challenge Series will be published by HRNSW in June.
Whether it is racing – Standardbreds or Thoroughbreds – rehabilitation, agistment or breeding, Cobbitty Equine Farm’s location, facilities and operations ensure the horses welfare and development are paramount.