The Southern Lights Trotting Handicap run by the Northern Southland Trotting Club will be run as a Group Three event next year.
Won this season by Royal Aspiration with Sleeman and Springbank Sam deadheating for second, the race becomes the third group race staged by the go ahead club.
The Southern Lights is raced over 3200 metres and this season carried a stake of $19,598. Now that it has Group Three status it will be staked at $25,000.
The club has had to find a new sponsor for next season with Bmac Steelmetal shifting their sponsorship dollars to The Southern Country Cups Final. Northern Southland Trotting Club committeman Ross Jones from Kina Craig Stud has stepped up to sponsor of the new group race.