Racing: Plenty of courses and not enough horses

There will be only seven races at Forbury Park tonight as the squeeze goes on for the supply of horses.

Forbury Park Trotting Club president Peter Gillespie said the calender got tight two or three times a year, and there were a lot of South Island meetings in a short period of time.

Forbury Park holds a meeting tonight and Oamaru has racing on Saturday. On Sunday, Invercargill and Banks Peninsula host meetings.

Gillespie said there were about 3100 horses in the South Island, with 2000 of those in Canterbury.

There were about 650 in Southland and 300 in Otago, with the rest scattered around the island.

"So Otago is really relying heavily on Canterbury and Southland and they have the pick of quite a few meetings at this time of year.

"Harness Racing New Zealand is looking at the issue and are well aware of it."

The club cancelled a meeting in September for the second year in a row because of a lack of numbers, and had now lost that date.

But Gillespie was not too disappointed, as the course was becoming more suited to holding a majority of the meetings in the winter.

"We are looking at the end of May and going through June, July, August, where the likes of those down in Southland are not racing.

"Then, after that, we could have a spell of about six to eight weeks where we could get the track worked on."

Gillespie said there was never any intention of cancelling tonight's meeting.