Harness Racing Victoria's racing office continues to work closely with kindred bodies and industry participants, and has provided its latest bulletin containing key information and updates on new initiatives from across the state.


The Mildura Harness Racing Club held a forum with trainers and a member of the racing team to discuss programming initiatives going forward.

As a result, the combined group has come up with some new initiatives to trial.

On a meeting-by-meeting basis, the club will hold:

  • Up-to-49 heats, selected from the bottom National Rating up with a final the following meeting worth $9,000
  • Up-to-69 heats, selected from the top National Rating down with a final the following meeting worth $12,000

The concept is that in the up-to-49 heats, where there is an expected five heats per week, 10 horses will reach a final and the following week of five heats will see a different 10 horses reach another final. That’s 20 horses across two different meetings that finish either first or second.

It was also decided that two-year-old racing would start to be programmed weekly at Mildura from June 21. This is 12 weeks away, allowing local trainers to all target a specific date.

The two-year-old races will carry a clause to possibly combine with a three-year-old race at each meeting.


A range of races during May and June will be targeting trainers that have not won a race worth $15,000 or more (“metro race”) since January 1, 2023.

The first series for up-to-65 nationally rated pacers and trotters will see heats at venues throughout Sundays in May. These will be at Shepparton, Ararat and Cranbourne with a $15,000 final at Melton.

To coincide with these heats, a number of other races have been programmed at the Ararat and Cranbourne meetings for the same group of trainers.


Harness Racing Victoria can confirm that the winners of all $4,501 two-year-old races programmed for both pacers and trotters will also be eligible to collect their full Vicbred bonuses.

  • Vicbred Pure bred horses will earn with prizemoney $14,251.
  • Vicbred Platinum bred horses will earn with prizemoney $11,251.
  • Vicbred horses will earn with prizemoney $10,251.


Swan Hill Harness Racing Club has introduced a new mares sprint bonus for its April 18 meeting.

The $2,000 bonus ($1000 to owner and $1000 to trainer) is for a mare that breaks the 1750m track record, currently held by Macelli at 1:53.4.

The enticing bonus for mares up to an NR 60 will effectively jackpot every meeting, raising by $500 until it goes off.

This initiative by the club has a broad industry perspective. Notwithstanding the obvious benefit for the mare when it comes to potential breeding, having an ultra-fast time against her name, but the breeder of the winning horse who may no longer own her should have an increase in the value of additional foals bred from the dam.

  • More competitive racing for the punter
  • Increased financial return to the owner
  • Increased financial return to the trainer


On Cranbourne’s April 16 program, the two-year-old trot was planned to be a stand start. Upon review (as at March 27), 33 two-year-old trotters have qualified from the mobile and just one from the stand.

As the two-year-old trotting races are being programmed on virtually a weekly basis, we have added to the program a two-year-old mobile trot.

It is extremely unlikely that both races will hold enough nominations, but providing both options allows participants to vote with their feet by nominating for their preference. Of course, if there is no preference, we encourage trainers to nominate for both races.


The Allied Express 2YO Classic for fillies was originally programmed for Saturday, April 27.

With the race being one week after the Nutrien finals, we have moved it back seven days to the May 4 meeting at Melton.


Some changes have been made to the Harness Racing Victoria racing guidelines.

4.1 - If after final acceptances a programmed race has less than eight acceptors, such race may be deleted and/or another programmed race with sufficient acceptors divided and held in substitution. A race cannot be run with five acceptors or less, otherwise at the discretion of the racing office.

1.17 - If for the purpose of maximizing a field size it is necessary to accept nominations after the original closing time of nominations, horses nominated prior to the original closing time will be given preference in selection of the field/s, regardless of whether or not these horses have an unfulfilled engagement. Horses nominated outside the original closing time will be deemed accepted at the discretion of HRV’s Racing Team.

Racing Guidelines can be found here.