ORC deluged with nominations

Otago's first race meeting in more than four months has been inundated with what every meeting needs — horses.

More than 170 nominations have been received for the Otago Racing Club meeting at Wingatui on Friday.

It is the first thoroughbred meeting of the new season in the South.

No Otago track has had a meeting since late March when a dual code meeting involving thoroughbred and harness took place at Wingatui.

Since then, racing has been off the agenda in Otago as first the country was locked down and then meetings were scaled back and moved to different areas.

Gallops meetings were limited to Riccarton since the code’s resumption in late June until the end of the 2019-20 season, although there was one meeting in Invercargill last month.

That meeting attracted more than 160 nominations as owners and trainers lined up to get their horses back on the track and into winning stakes.

The fields for this Friday’s meeting will be finalised today.

Stakes levels have remained the same as pre-Covid levels and two measures introduced by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing during the return to racing period have remained in place in the new season.

Payments back to 14th place will continue and there will be no nomination or acceptance fees.

This was initially done as an acknowledgement of the difficult times experienced by owners during the restrictions and will continue.

Wingatui trainers Shane and Brian Anderton have put forward nearly 20 nominations as they are keen to get back on their home track with their team while Kelvin and Aimee Tyler, of Riverton, have more than a dozen nominations.

Leading New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson is looking forward to his imminent return to raceday riding.

Bosson rode 18 horses for Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards at the Cambridge Stud trials late last month at Te Rapa and plans on making a return to race-day riding at Taupo next Wednesday.

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