Horse racing: Kiwi thoroughbred trainers threaten to delay return

New Zealand's thoroughbred trainers are threatening to keep their horses off the track when training resumes under alert level three.

The New Zealand Trainers Association has written to racing's governing body - the Racing Industry Transition Agency - bemoaning a lack of information about the financial future of the sport.

Chief among their concerns is a potential change to prize money.

"We just want some certainty around what those rewards are going to be once we're back up and racing," NZTA president Tony Pike told Newshub.

"Because these horses and the owners and trainers are the ones putting this show on for RITA."

Under alert level 3, horses are allowed to train but not yet race.

Trainers want clarity before the nationwide lockdown ends on Monday night.

"There's a lot of uncertainty regarding the stake money and its distribution and what's happening with RITA," Pike added.

"They had a lot of issues to deal with even before COVID-19 hit. They've been poorly managed for a number of years. 

"It's probably been exacerbated now that we need some certainty going forward for a lot of people in the industry."

Pike said the mismanagement means the trend of Kiwi trainers heading to Australia will continue.

Racing Industry Transition Agency says the NZTA's concerns have been answered in regular updates during the COVI-19 crisis and will be further addressed at a board meeting next week.