In an effort to meet the needs of the modern racing fan and engage the next generation of punter, Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) will trial a new 1119m – one lap – race at Tuesday meetings from September.
The exciting new format will be known as the Triple-One-Nine Torpedo presented by Kevin and Kay Seymour, with eight speedy types to tear around the track in little more than one minute.
For participants, the races will carry an additional $1000 in stakes thanks to the generous support of long-time harness racing backers, Kevin and Kay Seymour.
“Kay and I are delighted to sponsor this initiative in an endeavour to attract the younger generation of wagering enthusiasts by way of this up tempo mode of racing in an effort to enhance the industry's market-share of the available discretionary dollar,” harness racing benefactor Kevin Seymour AM stated.
RQ General Manager of Racing Simon Stout said the races, featuring a minor rule tweak, would add an additional element of excitement to sprints.
“A maximum of eight horses will start in each race,” he said.
“Seven horses will begin from the front row, with one horse effectively floating in the back row. That horse will be able to follow any runner it likes from the beginning.”
The races aim to offer more variety to distance ranges in the harness code, which currently races over 1660m, 2138m, 2647m, 2680m and 3157m at Albion Park. The races will be trialled over a three-month period, beginning on Tuesday, 5 September 2017.
“RQ will work closely with our broadcast partner, Sky Racing, to maximise the effectiveness of these races,” Mr Stout said.
The trial comes after RQ recently announced it would publish individual horse sectional times data on its website, following every Albion Park and Redcliffe TAB meeting.
“This data has already been welcomed by form students and will be a vital tool for finding a winner in the new sprint races,” Mr Stout said.
PHOTO SUPPLIED BY: Ashlea Brennan Photography