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The Harness Jewels will return next year with reduced prize money and will be raced on a Sunday.
Harness Racing New Zealand confirmed the 2021 Harness Jewels will be held at Cambridge Raceway over Queen’s Birthday weekend. For the first time it will be held on a Sunday, not a Saturday.
On June 6, all nine races will carry a stake of $100,000.
"It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point," HRNZ interim chief executive Phil Holden said.
"Covid-19 has certainly made things tricky, to say the least, but the board is committed to delivering the Jewels so it's great to be able to make it happen."
There will be a maximum of 12 starters per race, with all races, as is the tradition, to be mobiles over a mile.
"There was some consideration to running it on the Saturday but we decided against it because it clashed with gallops meetings at Ellerslie and Whanganui and a harness meeting at Invercargill.”
It will be the 14th edition of the Jewels; the first took place in Ashburton in 2007. The 2020 Jewels meeting was scheduled for May 30 this year but could not proceed because of the pandemic.
With the uncertainty over transtasman travel there will be no invitations issued to Australian horses and if they want to be part of the Jewels they will need to qualify in New Zealand.
Entry is determined by the highest stake-earners.
Holden said June may seem a long time away but time will go quickly and an important event such as the Jewels needed to be confirmed on the calendar.