THE TAB Regional Championships will be making their return for a third season, bringing together some of the region's top runners to Bathurst Paceway for two rounds of heats and another $100,000 decider.
The championships were effectively a product of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where the Million Dollar Pace's cancellation in 2020 forced the money to be split across the four racing regions of NSW to use in their own events.
But the changed concept has proved a popular one for the pacing community and Harness Racing NSW confirmed its continuation this May.
Bathurst Harness Racing Club CEO Danny Dwyer said it's great to see the series receive such a positive reception.
"Initially the series was meant to be a million dollar series, similar to what they did in the greyhounds, but I think the general feeling was, during COVID, that the money should be spread around the regions," he said.
"From a participant point of view they were very accepting of that, and then last year there was the change where they added the final at Menangle. It's certainly a great series and I know trainers are preparing for it months in advance.
"It makes it a series that's very attractive to owners."
Bathurst has the honour of getting the series underway when they hold their first round of heats on May 4.
"We get to kick it all off, which is nice," Dwyer said.
"It's a series where you get a lot of horses who are coming through their grades and the numbers have been pretty good with the heats in the past, so it's nice to see it coming back again.
"There horses who are either coming through grades or those who have just about hit that limit and haven't quite reached the level of Menangle racing, and it gives them all the chance to race for great money."
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