Day At The Track

Regan Cotter appointed Racing Manager

08:45 AM 01 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Auckland Trotting Club.JPG
Auckland Trotting Club

The Auckland Trotting Club has appointed Regan Cotter as it’s Racing Manager.

The 26-year-old took over from Kevin Smith last Thursday (January 26). Smith will now work for Harness Racing New Zealand as their handicapper in the north.

One of the youngest Racing Managers to ever land the job, Cotter was ecstatic with his appointment.

“Even though it’s a big challenge, I am extremely excited about the position and want to thank the ATC Board and Dominique Dowding (CEO) for their support and putting faith in me.

“Alexandra Park is one of the most progressive racing clubs in New Zealand, both on and off the track, and to be the club’s racing manager is a dream come true,” Cotter said.

“I also want to thank Kevin for the solid grounding he gave me,” he added.

Cotter came to Alexandra Park in August 2015. He was born in Levin and educated in Wanganui.

“I’m very excited about the job. I’ve learnt so much in the 17 months I have been here. I’ve always wanted a job in either sport or racing. I couldn’t be happier,” North Shore-based Cotter said.

Cotter said he brought youthful enthusiasm to the job.

“There are a lot of young people involved in harness racing. To me they are the future of the industry,” he said.

Cotter was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School and at the end of seventh-form (Year 13) he spent a gap year coaching sport at Millfield Prep School in Glastonbury in Somerset, England.

Cotter is a better than average cricket and hockey player and has always been interested in racing and thanks to his father and best friend Paul, he has had a long interest in racing.

“Dad used to be a greyhound trainer back in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s and raced a lot at the former Solway Park track. He has always been interested in racing”.

“I remember we always went to the Otaki grass trots every year and whenever Dad comes to Auckland we always go to Alexandra Park together”.

“It’s a great track, one of the best around,” Cotter said.

On returning from England Cotter graduated from AUT (Auckland University of Technology) with a Bachelor of Communications.

Then from 2011 to 2013 he worked as a technical producer for Radio Trackside.

“I really enjoyed my time with Radio Trackside. I got more familiar with racing and worked alongside people like Nathan Rarere, Ian Smith, Richard Loe, Murray Owles, Alby Gain, Peter Earley, Simon Doull, and Mark Rosonowski.

“But this is the job I wanted. I really want to make racing my career choice in life,” said Cotter.

Trainers have already applauded Cotter’s ability to relate and get on well with them. Cotter believed that was one of his strongest attributes.

“I want to do my job with a smile and treat people the way I want to be treated. Life is too short to be angry. There are a whole lot challenges but that’s what I thrive on,” said Cotter.

He said there were also exciting times outside racing at ‘The Park’.

“The building developments and the business that operate at Alexandra Park make the job really exciting. We have even got our first Blues game coming up. They will play in the middle of the racetrack against the Hurricanes,” he said.

“This is an awesome opportunity for me and I’m going to tackle it with positivity and enthusiasm. I want to Club to keep progressing forward and as Racing Manager I see that as one of my vital roles.

“I think my time at University and the skills I learnt there, especially communication, will help me achieve that,” Cotter said.

“I think my humble roots will also put me in good stead. At the end of the day I see it as my role to keep everyone happy and keep progressing the high standard of racing we have at Alexandra Park,” he added.

Meanwhile Dowding said:

“Regan was promoted to the ATC’s Racing Manager due to the departure of Kevin Smith to the HRNZ Handicapping Role.

“Regan has been an amazing support to Kevin and has picked up the racing and industry dynamic extremely well. He brings a vast experience in digital marketing and promotion coupled with his passion for sports administration and in particular Harness Racing.

“We know Regan is going to do an outstanding job for us and we thank Kevin for having been a great mentor.”

Duane Ranger

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