This weekend's races at Tauranga Racecourse will mark the highest prize pool to date.
The Bayleys International race day, featuring the Ultimate Mazda Japan Trophy, will see a total of $315,000 in prize money up for grabs.
The feature race, group two, will be worth $110,000.
The Ultimate Mazda Japan Trophy has drawn an even line up of quality horses.
The hardest to beat looks to be the last start Taranaki Cup winner Hypnos.
The Cambridge trained galloper has had four starts at the track, running creditably in all of those including a second placing in the Gartshore Tauranga Stakes last November. The surprise package could be True Enough.
He was good enough to win a Group one race prior to an injury lay off. If he can recapture his best form, he will go close to winning having picked up nine career wins for more than half a million dollars.
The Triton Pacific Owens plate to be raced over 1400 meters is headed by topweight Two Illicit who has won just on $600,000 with seven wins from the 18 starts but will carry 62kg, The Chris Wood trained Funtonic has only been unplaced twice from 10 starts and has won two of its last three starts will carry 8kg less, and will be a lightweight chance from barrier one.
Racing Tauranga General Manager, Louise Dean says its great punters are now allowed back on course, as the club has just received news that they have been named Racing Club of the Year, by the governing body, NZTR.
“We were runner up the previous year to Ellerslie and this year we won, which is pretty exciting for the club,” says Louise.
The race day on Saturday, March 26, will see eight races programmed, with the first set to kick off at 12.20pm.