RV announces rich maiden series
A new rich maiden series is set to be launched over summer.
The new series – called Sportsbet Future Stars – will be exclusive to Pakenham Thursday night racing, running 12 meetings from January 12 through to March 2.
Each maiden will be worth $75,000 with the final prize money $300,000, making it Australia’s richest maiden series, to be shown live on Racing.com.
The series will be open to three, four and five-year-old horses only with the maidens run over distances of 1200m or 1400m.
The $300,000 final will be run over 1400m as a Class 3 set weights contest and the heats will feature fields of 12 with the winner automatically qualifying for the final.
The final heat will be a 1400m repechage open only to those maidens who contested an earlier heat with priority given to the highest placegetters, while one heat will target smaller training operations, open only to “maidens prepared by Victorian trainers who registered fewer than 15 Victorian metropolitan wins in the 2021-22 racing season”.
Racing Victoria’s new general manager of racing Matthew Welsh said the series was an exciting innovation.
“Sportsbet Future Stars is set to enhance Thursday nights at Pakenham. It’s an innovative series providing maiden gallopers with lucrative opportunities and culminating in a rich final,” Welsh said.
“It’s great to provide connections of maiden gallopers an opportunity to race for such terrific prizemoney and we hope it’s a steppingstone to bigger and better things for those who compete.
“Group 1 winner Marabi headlines a list of quality gallopers that have broken their maiden status at Pakenham and this series will seek to unearth racing’s next group of stars.”
Sportbet’s involvement follows its sponsorship of a rich spring series in Sydney.
“Sportsbet is passionate about the sustainable growth of racing. We believe that innovation, engagement and ownership are at the heart of that growth. What better way to contribute to that than to be involved in a race series aimed at unearthing the future stars of the Victorian racetrack live on Racing.com under lights at Sportsbet-Pakenham,” Sportsbet Chief Growth Officer Doug Brown said.
“Sportsbet is always looking for opportunities to activate and innovate with our highly valued partners and look forward to working closely with Racing Victoria, Sportsbet-Pakenham and Racing.com to drive the excitement and narrative around Australia’s richest maiden race series.”
The new series at Pakenham follows strong wagering outcomes at Pakenham’s night meetings.
“Sportsbet-Pakenham is an ideal track to start a campaign when looking for a maiden win, so this series is a great way to shine a light on that progress and provide extra incentive to race here under lights,” Pakenham Racing Club CEO Blair Odger said.
The series will be shown live on Racing.com on chanel 68, 78 and 529 as well as via streaming on the racing.com app and website.