Racing WA – Gloucester Park Programming Changes

02 April 2024

Over the past two months we’ve seen increased field sizes and consistent 10-race programs at Gloucester Park on Friday night, after changes were made to how races are programmed.  

This flexible and dynamic approach to programming is focused on maximising our race field sizes, to increase wagering turnover and, ultimately, provide more enticing racing for racegoers and punters. 

So far, we’ve seen positive results with the average number of starters per meeting at headquarters increasing from about 76 horses to 100. 

Likewise, each Friday night meeting over the eight-week period has boasted 10 races – with the Sales Classics meeting on March 1 having 12 events.  

We’ve captured these statistics in the graphic below, comparing the eight weeks before the changes and the eight weeks after.  


The introduction of initiatives such as divided stake race codes and increased races at country front stakes levels has seen the average acceptances per meeting increase from 114 to 159 and the average starters from 76 to 100 and consequentially the average races per meeting increase from 8.6 to 10.25. 

Wagering turnover nationwide is buoyant on a Friday evening, so it’s important to leverage this. It's vital to showcase our sport at its maximum in our premier timeslot. 

The data outlined in the graphic shows the positive impact that has been achieved since the introduction of these changes.  

Programming changes will continue to occur and evolve going forward from the 5 April race meeting which will include replacing the Divided Stakes with a L9+ Conditioned race code. The divided race codes have been a great success in filling fields in the early new season months, however as the population in the higher grades has re-generated, it can be swapped out for the Conditioned race. 

The Divided Stakes is clearly a great option going forward in the period in which the metro class population is lower.  

The way in which barrier draws will be selected on L5$ races will also change with a rotation of random barrier draws, preferential barrier draws on level and on dollars last five starts also commencing. 

This Friday will also see an earlier start with the first race commencing at 4:17pm. With this date being the last Friday of eastern-states daylight savings until October, the early start will serve as a turnover trial to consider whether starting earlier is viable in the daylight savings period given the majority of wagering on WA harness racing is by those in the states affected by daylight saving. 

I thank you for your ongoing support. WA is home to a proud harness racing industry, with rich history, and it’s important that we continue to showcase it. 

Cameron Brown 

Head of Harness Racing and Special Projects 


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