YEAR: 2012



Harness Racing's 2012 Group One Woodlands New Zealand Free-For-All run on Canterbury Anniversary Day during the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup Carnival in November will be run over the distance of one mile (1609 metres).

Addington Raceway and Events Centre and The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club announced that this prestigious race to be held on 16 November 2012 will revert to a distance of one mile having been previously held over 2000 metres.

Conditions include the event to be contested over one mile from the mobile barrier with the field restricted to 10 starters plus one emergency. Configuration from behind the mobile will consist of a maximum front line of six and a maximum second line of five starters.

After a thorough period of consultation within the industry and discussions with leading horseman it has been decided that the first six horses to finish in the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup along with the winner of the Group 1 NRM Sires' Stakes Three Year Old Final three days earlier will be automatically invited to start in the Free-For-All mile.

The balance of the field will be selected at the Club's discretion.

The race will carry a stake of $150,000. In addition to this, a special bonus of $5,000 each will be paid to the trainer and driver of the winner if the current New Zealand record for the mile is broken.

Addington's Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt said "Cup Week in Christchurch is the greatest week in harness racing in the country and it fits well that the best pacers throughout Australasia can compete at this Carnival over the ultimate speed distance of a mile.

We get the top echelon of pacers going for glory on the Tuesday in the Cup over two miles (3200m) and now they have the opportunity to compete over a mile three days later. We have been thinking of this concept for some time now and it's been a while since we've staged a flying mile at Addington.

Only the best pacers competing at the time will be eligible given the criteria, and this coupled with an attractive bonus should ensure the sparks are flying."

"Recent feedback from leading horseman has been positive and supportive and we feel that this initiative is a natural progression considering the success of the Harness Jewels and that series having a strong focus on mile racing."

Addington's Racecourse Manager John Denton went on to say "The track at Addington Raceway is somewhat different now than what it was back in 1991 when the last mile was run here under normal conditions.

With the introduction of the pylons in 1995, the passing lane in 2000 and the fact that the gradient is significantly better now, I'm confident that the current New Zealand record could be given a shake given ideal conditions on the day."


* 1.52.1 - New Zealand Record for one mile for a pacer held jointly by Smolda and Kiwi Ingenuity.

* 1.56.0 - Addington Raceway Track Record for one mile held by Blossom Lady set in 1991.

* Between 1985 and 1991 there were 105 mobile mile races staged at Addington with 11% of these won by saddlecloth 1 and 10% won by saddlecloth 2. Interestingly, 10% of the races were won by saddlecloth 5 and 8.5% were won by saddlecloth 10.

* 9 - The average race starters over the last four years in the Woodlands Free-For-All.

Credit: Ged Mooar

In the event that you cannot find the information you require from the contents, please contact the Racing Department at Addington Raceway.
Phone (03) 338 9094