Day At The Track

Club news holiday special from HRNZ

12:01 PM 19 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Motukarara,Harness racing

Below is a full run down of Club News over the holiday season. Be sure to check out what is happening new you and get your friends and family together and support a local meeting! 


Southern Harness Regional News

The Southern Harness holiday racing season kicks off in earnest with the Wairio Trotting Club meeting, featuring the Otautau 4 Square Supermarket Wairio Cup, at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Saturday 22 December. This is always a popular day with free tent sites available for groups and businesses. The kids are well catered for too with $2 mini jeep rides while Santa will pay a visit to the course to hold a lolly scramble. The first race is timed for 12noon and admission is free.


Great prizes to be won at Gore

Gore is the place to be on 27 December where the Gore Harness Racing Club is holding a $10,000 Pick 10 winners competition that is sure to create a lot of interest. There is also a $1000 prize for the person who can pick the most continuous winners on the day - check out the Gore Harness Racing Club facebook page for details. There are plenty of free activities for the kids while on track the highlights are the MLT Gore Cup and a new open 3yo race with a new sponsor, ‘The Cardrona Distillery’ who are sponsoring alongside loyal sponsor the Mataura Licensing Trust – the trophy a case of alcohol from Cardrona Distillery.         

The first race is at 2.28pm and admission is free.

Relax on New Year’s Eve at Winton

If you are looking for a nice, quiet relaxing, New Year’s Eve, look no further than Central Southland Raceway in Winton. The first race is scheduled for 1.48pm and the highlight will be the Fast Track Insurance Southern Belle Speed Series Heat. Bring the picnic, kick back and relax.

Another great day in store at Omakau Trots

The Central Otago Trotting Club always turn on a great day of entertainment and innovation and this year will be no exception when the Omakau Trots take place at the Omakau Racecourse on Wednesday, January 2.

The Omakau Trots are an iconic event, one that provides a wonderful family atmosphere with top-class harness racing, heaps of free entertainment for the children, and plenty of activity, competitions and prizes for all ages. Prizes up for grabs this year include tickets to January's Gibbston Valley Winery concert and a 2019 season pass to Highlanders home games. The feature race will again be the McLaren Transport/RD Petroleum Central Otago Trotting Cup supported by a programme that will see superb harness racing action.

Every year the club comes up with new innovations and this year it is the Witches Of West View 2 Syndicate Competition which will give two people the opportunity to own a share of their own racehorse for a year at no cost. Courtesy of Nigel Armstrong and the Central Otago Trotting Club details are available on the club's facebook page - "Omakau Trots 2019". The competition is open to ladies only and you must be on course on 2 January to participate. Entries close on the facebook page on 30 December so be quick. Another facebook based competition prior to the event is the Own The Moment Syndicate prize which will give someone the opportunity to receive owners privileges and the opportunity to own a share of a horse on race day courtesy of Kirk and Michelle Larsen. Entries for this competition will close on 24 December and the prize will provide a great experience for a racegoer.

Fashion On The Field for the ladies (18 and over) will be one of the major highlights again this year, and with support from the Otago Daily Times, Jamie's Jewellers of Alexandra, Orbit House Of Travel, Dunedin and Henry's Wine, Beer & Spirits there are some great prizes on the line, first prize alone valued at over $1000. Entries are taken early in the day, so don’t be late!

The Omakau Trots are a drawcard for families because of the fantastic array of free children’s entertainment. The biggest ever bouncy castle to come to the Omakau Racecourse, aqua bubble, mini-jeeps, pony rides, an obstacle course, kids tote, a massive lolly scramble and a scavenger hunt with fantastic prizes up for grabs and more are all part of a massive day.

The family sulky derby has become a popular feature of the event and a Punters Club, lucky punter competitions and losing ticket draws for rides on the mobile barrier are popular features for the adults as is the big screen which allows you to follow the action closely.

For more than 50 years holiday-makers have gathered at the Omakau Racecourse to enjoy quality family time under the trees with their picnics and often to catch up with friends from past race days. There is also a selection of local community groups offering a wide range of food and beverages, from espresso coffee to whitebait, plus a licensed booth on course.

Gates open at 10.30am, and the first race is scheduled to start around 12.20pm. Admission is just $10 for adults, while under-18s are free.

Great day out in Roxburgh

Another hugely popular race meeting on the calendar of holiday makers takes place two days after Omakau when the Roxburgh Trotting Club hold their annual meeting at the Roxburgh Racecourse on 4 January.

The Peters Genetics Roxburgh Cup headlines an action packed race programme on the track while in keeping with summertime harness racing in Central Otago there is a day of entertainment and fun for all ages which will guarantee a great day out for everyone.

Gates open at 11am, and the first race is scheduled for 1.03pm. 
Fashion in the Field is always a highlight, and once again a tremendous prize pool has been assembled – more details will appear on the Southern Harness Racing facebook page as the day approaches.

A punters club will operate on the day, while the Jimmy’s Pies Lucky Punter Competition will give a punter $50 to spend on each race, and a lucky-losing-ticket draw will result in someone on course winning a mobile phone.

There is a huge amount of entertainment for the kids including the bungy tramp, Mini Jeeps, Aqua Bubble, jousting, a bouncy castle, and Astro Ball.

There will be a variety of food and beverages available around the course, in what has become a wonderful picnic day full of great racing and entertainment.

Admission is $10 for adults, and under-18s are free.


The final meeting of the Central Otago harness racing circuit takes place at Cromwell Racecourse on Sunday 6 January. The Interislander Summer Festival Cromwell Trots continues to grow in popularity and features grass track racing at its best with the feature event the Havtime Breeding/M&S Little Cromwell Cup.

The first race is scheduled for 12noon and admission is $10 with under 18’s free.

In addition to the exciting race programme there will be a tremendous entertainment programme with something for everyone.

Fashion In The Field features categories for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man, Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Boy, Best Dressed Girl, Best Dressed Under 7 and the Best Hat/Fascinator.

For the boys there is the Abs For The Lads Competition while judges will be on the lookout for the Best Car Park Picnic.

The More FM Kids Go Racing Area features plenty of great activity for the Under 12’s while there are also free mini jeep rides and a kids running race.

Losing tote tickets can win you a ride on the mobile.

A Punters Club will operate and there will be plenty of food and beverage on course.


Summer twilight racing at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill with the Northern Southland Trotting Club is the go on Thursday 10 January with the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup the feature event along with several other quality harness races.

A losing ticket draw after Race 6 will see one lucky punter win a $250 betting voucher with an opportunity for that winner to go on and win a $1000 betting voucher at the club’s final meeting later in the season.

Owners are welcome in the Alabar Owners Room and one owner will go in the club’s season long competition with three great prizes up for grabs.

Admission is free and the first race is timed for 3.00pm. 


Cambridge Raceway - Club to mark Centenary in style

A great night of summer racing with plenty of atmosphere promises to entertain racegoers attending Cambridge Raceway’s January 11 meeting next year, which will mark the centenary of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated racing club.

Established in 1919, the club has become an integral part of the Cambridge community. Not only has it become the epicenter for racing in the region, its facilities have also been widely utilised, including as a training camp for the New Zealand military during World War II.

To mark the milestone, the club plans to celebrate in style with the night taking on a 1920’s Great Gatsby and Peaky Blinders theme and racegoers are encouraged to dress-up accordingly.

“We want to make a really big night of the centenary meeting,” Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch said.

“It’s all going to be dress-up, the whole place will be decked out in a 1920’s theme.

“We want to create a great atmosphere and pack the grass verge out along the front of the grandstand with hospitality, the Skyline Lounge will also be open, the Alf Walsh Lounge will take on a speakeasy vibe for the night and we will also have our Colts and Fillies Club to entertain the children.

“We’re not only celebrating racing at Cambridge but also the past 100 years of the Cambridge township and we’re involving the Cambridge Community in the promotions and the race night.

“There will be a 1920s themed window dressing competition in the lead up to the event.”

The night will also offer a great card of racing, including the Gr.2 Waikato Flying Mile (1609m) and the Gr.3 Cambridge Trotters Flying Stakes (1700m), which have been specifically moved to mark the celebration.

“Traditionally they have been on that earlier January meeting, but this will space it out a bit more from the Auckland (new year’s eve) meeting, so hopefully we will get a few of the better horses from the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said.

The Waikato Flying Mile has been a key race for the club, with its inaugural running in 1966, and plenty of quality graduates have gone on to perform at elite level.

“It’s always a race that has brought the crowds,” Branch said. “I remember Christian Cullen when he won the race, and going through the past winners it’s a pretty impressive roll of honour.”

Other notable winners include champion pacers Young Quinn, Luxury Liner and Christopher Vance, while recent winners include race record holder Adore Me (1.51.6) and current world-beater Lazarus.

Branch said there has been many highlights for the club in its 100 years, including the running of the Harness Jewels every second year since its inception, but the construction of the grandstand in the 1970s has been the club’s biggest achievement.

“The Jewels has definitely been a highlight, but building the grandstand has been the biggest highlight for the club,” Branch said.

“The Jewels this year has been the biggest highlight for myself as chief executive of the club and also retaining it for 2020. There has been a lot of learning from this year’s event, so we’re excited to see what we can offer in 2020.

“We have got a fairly new team at the raceway and everybody is keen and wanting to move the place forward, which is fantastic.”

The gates to Cambridge Raceway will open at 5pm on January 11, with racegoers encouraged to dress-up for the 1920’s theme.

For more information visit this page – Cambridge Raceway


Ashburton Trotting Club Sunday 23rd December Meeting

The Ashburton Trotting Club are running a meeting on Sunday 23rd December.

This meeting will be run to raise funds for the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society.

The local Pakeke Lions club will on hand to collect a gold coin donation as an entry fee, as well as running a BBQ lunch also with a gold coin donation. All funds raised from this will go to the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society.

The meeting will also be run as a family fun day with children’s running races and activities, with Santa Claus making an appearance throughout the day. It will be a relaxed picnic atmosphere with light entertainment and music for families and groups to enjoy.

Owners on the day will be able to collect an owners ribbon from the secretary’s office which will entitle them for a 20% discount on refreshments around the course.


Westport Trotting Club – 26, 28 December

The Westport Trotting Club is looking forward to their two day summer meeting on the 26th and 27th of December. Early indications are that Boxing Day will be a popular event with the marquees sold out and patrons coming from far and wide to support the Club. After the flood surge in February the Tearooms and Grandstand Bar have both been extensively renovated and completed in time for this meeting. The latest edition of the Westport Trotting Club caps are proving popular and it has been noted that a few have made their way to the East Coast and have been featuring prominently around the Canterbury grass track circuit. Caps will be on sale both days at Westport for the giveaway price of $10.

The Club was slightly disappointed last year with the number of horses in the feature race the Westport Cup. While the quality was there the club had hoped for a full field given the stake money available and the prestige attached to the Cup. In an effort to encourage greater participation the Club has joined with Fasttrack insurance in providing a $5000 “prize” which will be drawn after the Cup Race with all runners, barring the winner, going in to the draw. In essence any horse finishing second to last could win the $5000.

As usual there will be plenty of on course entertainment as part of the Interislander Summer Festival. Included in this package will be the Fashion in the Fields Competition which grows in popularity from year to year.

As for the weather well it has been a hot summer so far with enough moisture to keep the grass green and the track in great order. The forecast for Boxing Day is for a morning shower, sun and some cloud with a high of 20 degrees. Sounds like just another day in Paradise.


Banks Peninsula – 29 December

Join us for our fantastic Race Day Event at The Trots At Mot on Saturday 29th December. We will have 10 amazing grass track harness races, at the Motukarara Raceway, kicking off from 12noon to 5pm. A day at Interislander Summer Festival Motukarara Trots is a popular way to enjoy the break between Christmas and New Year. It's one of the biggest racedays on the calendar for the South Island - attracting a crowd of thousands. Make sure you're there to join the celebrations!

There will be a host of free children’s entertainment including pony rides, bouncy castle, face painting and the big bouncy bungee! We will also have an array of food trucks to feed the crowds.

Secure your trackside spot and invite your friends, Whānau, colleagues, fellow social clubbers or sports club members to celebrate the holidays at The Trots At Mot! We have the following options available:

Exclusive Mot Hill Sites:

We have a limited number of Exclusive Mot Hill Sites, slap bang in the middle of the action, right next to the bird cage and members stand. From your elevated vantage point, you will have clear views of the track, bird cage and stables giving you a 360 view of all the grass track harness race action!


Reefton Trotting Club – 30 December

A New Promotion this year for our forth coming "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" Race day on 30th December 2018.

For the dedicated and hardworking persons behind the scenes, presenting their horses professionally with sometimes not a lot of recognition, the Reefton Trotting Club are excited to announce a new competition for this section of the industry to look forward to at our meeting.

Format as follows:  The previous format of a "Best Presented Horse" and the associated prize in each race remains as per normal.

The connections of the winning "Best Presented Horse' in each race are then obilged to nominate their horse's "Strapper" to the secretary’s office immediately following their success.

Whilst the runners for Race 10 are completing their preliminaries, the days results will be collated and the "Supreme Strapper' for 2018 will be announced.

In the birdcage immediately following Race 10 the winner or winners representative will be presented with the Reefton Trotting Club's "Strappers Cup" for 2018 and a $100 voucher.

Reefton Trotting Club's "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" continues this year and one of the "Off" track features is the extremely popular "Glamour in the Goldfields" best dressed competition.  This event over recent years has developed from a minor side attraction to a integral and vital part of our race day. Embracing all ages from children, to the elegant lady, to the fine gentleman, this event appeals to the general public who each year continue to greet the contestants presentation with great enthusiasm.

"Kids Go Racing" ensure that the children are well entertained and this year the Reefton Trotting Club have commissioned the services of a top Christchurch band for between race ambience and relaxation

Good Coffee, Good Food, Great Mr Whppy ice creams and best of all Great Racing make the Reefton Racecourse the place to be on Sunday 30th December.


Central Otago Trotting Club News - 2 January

The Central Otago Trotting Club is proud to announce two exciting competitions which will soon be live on their facebook page!

Witches of Westview competition 

Be in to win a share in a syndicate of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ courtesy of Nigel Armstrong & Central Otago Trotting Club.

This is your opportunity to ‘own’ a share in your own racehorse from 2nd January 2019 through to …………………

You will not have to contribute any money at any stage to pay for the syndicate.

This is an opportunity to be involved in racing up to 6 horses throughout New Zealand.

At the end of it you may even receive a pay-out – if the horses do well enough, though we can’t guarantee that.

This is a fantastic no risk opportunity for you to experience the thrill of racing as an owner.

To enter you all you need to do is type Witches in the comments, tag a friend and share the Facebook page.

On race day entries will be drawn against a horse (in a yet to be specified race) in a sweepstake manner. The winning and 2ndplace getting horses in that race will receive a share each. In the event of a dead heat for 2nd, the club will try to get an additional share, otherwise it would be decided by coin toss.

Entries close 30 Dec 2018

Terms & Conditions of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’

  1. Open only to females
  2. Be 18yrs or over to enter
  3. Only one entry per person
  4. Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’
  5. Must be on course at Omakau Racecourse, 2 January 2019 to pick up prize or will it will be redrawn.
  6. Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions.
  7. To have photo ID on the day
  8. All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday.
  9. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter.

For full terms and conditions see ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ rules.

‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ compliments of Kirk & Michelle Larsen

This competition will give you a phantom share of a racehorse at Omakau on 2nd January 2019.

The winner will receive complimentary admission and carpark tickets for 4 people.

At the course once you have identified yourself at the secretary’s office you will receive 4 complimentary race books, you will be treated like an owner throughout the day. A COTC committee member will take you to meet the trainer and horse.

You will be invited to watch the race from the owners & trainers stand.

If the horse is a winner, then you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken with it.

The club will put $50 each way on the horse for you – if you win the dividend is yours.

After the race you will receive an invite to the president’s bar.

To enter all you have to do is type Own the Moment in the comments, tag a mate and share the facebook page.

Entries close on 24 Dec 12 noon

If you are excited about owning a share in a syndicate, follow the link

Terms & Conditions of ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’

  1. Be 18yrs or over to enter
  2. Only one entry per person
  3. Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’
  4. Will be drawn on 24 Dec 2018
  5. Must be on course on the day to collect prize – 2ndJan
  6. Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions.
  7. To have photo ID on the day
  8. All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday.

COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For all full terms and conditions see the Facebook Page. 


Rangiora - 3 January

Join the action. Twilight race meeting.

Free  On Course Entry

Family focused Harness Racing 

Top Quality Racing plus Family Entertainment for everyone including Bouncy castle, Drive World Self Drive Jeeps , Face Painting, Air Brush Tattoos , plus more.


Nelson Harness Racing Club, Friday Jan 11 & Sunday Jan 13

Richmond Park

The Nelson Harness Club extends an invitation to all owners and trainers to race in sunny Nelson for their two-day summer race meeting. Come and join us for great hospitality, weather and racing and entertainment

Great stakes are on offer with the club increasing their purses from last summer.  The Nelson Pine Industries Summer Cup has a stake of $14000 and it Prelude has a stake of $10000.  All other races are for purses of $8000 to $9000, with maiden winners collecting a bonus $1500.

Hot food and drink will be available in the Drivers Room for all trainers, drivers and their staff. 

A coffee cart will be outside the numbers room in the stabling area.  Food and drink will also be available to purchase at the food and drink stalls.


The club would like to invite all trainers, drivers, staff and owners to attend a BBQ on Thursday 10th January from 5 -7 pm.  The club are putting this on in recognition of your continued support of our race meeting.  There will be raffles available so bring a few coins.

Breakfast will be again available from 7am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at the OTB rooms.

All winning connections are invited to celebrate their success in the Presidents room after photos in the birdcage.  Race Images will be on course and will have a range of options for winning connections to purchase!

Kidz Kartz will be in action both days of the meeting, back where it all started in 2007, with Nelson holding the very first Kidz Kartz races in the South Island.

The Dunstan Double – Dunstan Horse Feeds continue their growing association within the harness racing industry by offering five bags of feed to each and every horse that completes a double at the meeting. So any horse that wins both days at Richmond Park will take home five bags of feed for their trainer.

A reminder that as this is an Inter-Island Summer Festival meeting there will be a charge at the gate so do bring with you an email/text you will receive when fields are finalised, which will give you free entry onto the course.

Programmes are available on the HRNZ website contact Jason Broad for all nominations and stabling requirements. PH: 021 127 2912

The Nelson Harness Racing Club would like to thank all their sponsors the trainers, drivers and owners who support them in bringing Harness Racing to the Top of the South!


Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update

Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.  

The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.  

The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019.

Chris Craddock

Vice President

Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc.

027 410 2420      


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