This is a R1 million incentive scheme for horses bred in the province and who have a gross merit rating of 78 or less, giving horses at the lower end of the handicap scale a chance of earning good money for their connections.
In a unique concept, trainers are invited to nominate one horse in their yard that meets all the criteria for participation.
General rules are that the horse nominated is KZN bred in terms of the rules of the KZN Breeders’ Club rules.
It must have a gross merit rating of 78 or less at the time of entry and has had a minimum of five runs at time of entry so their form is well exposed.
Races will be run over 1200m, 1400m, and 1600m with the final run over 1400m. All races will be on the turf and to win the series the horse will need to be versatile and sound.
A maximum of 30 horses will compete in each of rounds 1,2 and 3 with each round split into two groups of 15 horses – this will be done by ballot.
Riders will also be drawn by ballot and apprentice allowances may be claimed, including in the final.
Weights range between 63kg and 57kgs. MR’s 78 to 76 to carry 63kgs with 1kg off for every three merit rating points to bottom weight of 57kg for horses with ratings 60 and below.
Round 1 will see two races run over 1200m at Scottsville, followed by two races over 1400m at the same venue and two races over 1600m also at Scottsville. Each of these races will carry a R100 000 stake. The final over 1400m will be run at Greyville for a stake of R200 000.
Entry is free but will be restricted to 30 horses and eliminations will be from the lowest merit rating upwards.
If a horse’s MR is raised above 78 after the series has begun, that horse will continue to be eligible for the entire series but will carry top weight of 63kgs.
An added incentive is that each of the owner, trainer and breeder will be eligible for a R50 000 bonus along with the jockey who accumulates the most points over the series.