THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club is set to host the opening battle of a new state series to be run exclusively for mares.
To be held bi-monthly, the implementation of the new Harness Racing NSW series comes on the back of the success of mares in the current Country Series.
Regional tracks will host heats worth $9,996 and the best placed mares from those will advance to a $20,000 final to be staged at Menangle.
The series, which will be for mares aged four-year-old and older with a rating up to 60, comes as good news for many Bathurst region trainers and owners.
"The series' overall conditions are the exactly the same as they are for the existing Country Series," Club Menangle racing manager David Wonson said.
"The only difference is that this is for mares only."
Wonson explained that the feedback that the club had received from country participants was that there was a lack of opportunity for mares racing in the country regions.
"This series will provide more opportunities for mares four-years-old and upwards racing in country regions to extend their racing careers," he said.
"Hopefully, that will also lead to some of the mares graduating into the metropolitan mares' system."
The Bathurst heat of the inaugural running of the new mares series is scheduled to be run on Wednesday, August 18.
Given the good prize money on offer, it is hoped that it will attract a quality field.
The Hunter Valley mares will get their shot at the big money when they contest a heat on Friday, August 20 while the Riverina joins the party with a heat run at the Wagga track on the same night, August 20.
That gives all the contenders ample time to get over their run and be at Menangle on Saturday night, August 28 for the rich final.
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