Back in the slot 

Groom James Stephens whispers words of encouragement into Self Assured’s ear in the minutes before the start of The Race in April. Photo: Mary Anne Gill. 

Cambridge Raceway officials are expected to reveal this week plans to hold the country’s richest harness racing night following on from the success of the inaugural event in April.

The News asked Raceway chief executive Dave Branch for further information after media reports suggested there would be a new slot race for trotters of $500,000 to add to $1 million on offer for pacers.

The $900,000 invite-only race in April was won by pre-race favourite Self Assured.
Branch said after the meeting – which saw all 500 hospitality seats and more than 2000 general admission tickets sold – he hoped to increase the stake next year to $1 million and cater for 5000 people.

The Race was the richest harness race in New Zealand. Slots were bought for $75,000 each for a guaranteed stake divided up with $400,000 to the winner, $125,000 for second, $85,000 third, $65,000 for fourth and the remaining five starters each getting $37,500.

Reports suggest the meeting will remain on April 14 but be on a Friday night and the week after Easter.

Branch did not respond in time for The News’ deadline.

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