Gold Circles levelling the playing field series
The newly introduced “Levelling the Playing Fields” series of races kicks off with Round 1 at Scottsville on Sunday 2 April.
The KZN Breeders Club came up with the concept, which has the full support of Gold Circle, in terms of which each trainer was invited to nominate one KZN Bred horse with a rating of 78 and below to compete in Round 1 over 1200 metres, Round 2 over 1400 metres and Round 3 over 1600 metres, with four weeks between each round.
“The idea was for each trainer to identify a KZN-bred horse in their yard with the durability and versatility to compete in each round over varying distances with the top 14 point scorers competing in a final over 1400 metres on 25 June at the KZN Breeders’ Raceday,” says Gold Circle’s Racing Executive Raf Sheik. “Disappointingly only 23 horses have stood their ground but, with the Grand Prix type formula whereby they will each earn points depending on where they finish in rounds 1, 2 and 3, it will be interesting to follow the runners’ progress through to the final,” he added.
The 23 horses have been ballotted into two heats to be run over 1200 metres on Sunday and they will be re-ballotted for each of the ensuing two rounds. In keeping with the theme of “Levelling the Playing Fields”, jockeys have been allocated to each of the runners by ballot for Sunday’s races and they too will be re-ballotted for each of the remaining two rounds. Thus, jockeys are not associated with a particular horse for the duration of the Series. The ballot for jockeys was undertaken by KZN Stipendiary Steward Tim Nhlapo under the watchful eye of the NHA Vet, Rouaan Sutherland.
Apart from the stake money on offer for each race (R100 000) and the R200 000 final on Sunday 25 June, a prize of R50 000 each is on the table for the Owner, Trainer, Jockey and Breeder who accumulates the most points over the Series, including the final. Points will be earned as follows:- 1st – 20; 2nd 17; 3rd – 15 ; 4th – 13; 5th 11 and then reducing by one point for each following position.