Hawke’s Bay Racing has announced that the winner and runner-up in the Group 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa will be provided ballot free exemptions into the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings at the end of August. 

Last year’s Foxbridge Plate runner up Julius was withdrawn the week of the race after looking unlikely to get a start in the Tarzino, while in 2017 Foxbridge Plate runner-up Close Up had to escape the Tarzino Trophy ballot on race day morning before going on to score a memorable Group 1 win. 

“While we are comfortable with the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) ballot conditions for Group 1 races, the fact that the Tarzino is so early in the season makes it very hard for horses to improve their order of entry,” Hawke’s Bay Racing chief executive Andrew Castles said. 

“By allowing the winner and runner-up a ballot exemption, we believe we are fixing an anomaly that saw Close Up and Julius struggle to get runs in the first of our three Group 1 races.” 

Nominations for the three Group 1 races that make up the Bostock New Zealand Spring Carnival triple crown – Tarzino Trophy (1400m), Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and Livamol Classic (2040m) – will be taken on Tuesday July 16 with the National Racing Bureau.