Call to sup­port har­ness rac­ing high­light in Auck

Matamata Chronicle - - Racing -

One of Aus­trala­sia’s most pres­ti­gious har­ness rac­ing events, the In­ter Do­min­ion, which has an $800,000 prize up for grabs, has been trans­ferred to Auck­land af­ter Christchurch was forced to can­cel its host­ing of the event de­spite wait­ing eight years for the priv­i­lege.

Mata­mata horse rac­ing en­thu­si­asts are be­ing en­cour­aged to get along to the event.

The car­ni­val, fea­tur­ing the $ 800,000 Skycity Auck­land In­ter Do­min­ion Pac­ers Grand Fi­nal, was set to be held at Ad­ding­ton Raceway but Christchurch’s host club The New Zealand Metropoli­tan Trot­ting Club (The Met) had to make the call not to hold the event in Christchurch due to the re­cent earth­quake.

Auck­land Mayor Len Brown and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker who will both be at­tend­ing the In­ter Do­min­ion Grand Fi­nal Night at Alexandra Park on Fri­day April 8, are urg­ing New Zealan­ders to turn out to the event in red and black and make a do­na­tion to Christchurch.

En­try to the In­ter Do­min­ion is free with at­ten­dees asked to give to Christchurch col­lec­tors at the event in­stead.

‘‘This is the first time New Zealand has had the op­por­tu­nity to host the In­ter Do­min­ion since Brown said.

‘‘We know that Cantabri­ans were look­ing for­ward with great an­tic­i­pa­tion to show­cas­ing this trans-Tas­man event and much time, ef­fort and money went into prepa­ra­tions for the In­ter Do­min­ion by Christchurch or­gan­is­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘ It’s for­tu­nate that the Auck­land Trot­ting Club has stepped in to help The Met trans­fer this car­ni­val to Auck­land and now it’s up to us to turn out and en­sure the In­ter Do­min­ion is the re­sound­ing suc­cess an event of this cal­i­bre should be, while pledg­ing our sup­port to Christchurch.’’

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said that al­though it was dis­ap­point­ing that Christchurch could not host the In­ter Do­min­ion, the city ap­pre­ci­ated the sup­port be­ing of­fered by Auck­lan­ders.

‘‘ It will give Cantabri­ans great cheer to see Auck-

2005,’’ Mr lan­ders wear­ing black,’’ he said.

The Met chief ex­ec­u­tive Shane Gloury said he was very grate­ful to the own­ers of horses that were com­pet­ing in the three race se­ries who had pledged to do­nate a por­tion of their earn­ings from the In­ter Do­min­ion to the Red Cross Earth­quake Ap­peal.

‘‘Sim­i­larly the TAB is get­ting be­hind the event and is look­ing at run­ning a range of pro­mo­tions on that week­end that are ex­pected to raise sig­nif­i­cant funds for the ap­peal,’’ Mr Gloury said.

‘‘ We are also im­mensely thank­ful to the Auck­land Trot­ting Club for of­fer­ing to make the Alexandra Park fa­cil­ity avail­able to The Met to con­duct these cham­pi­onships, which in­clude horses that have been sent from as far as Swe­den and the United States.’’

In true fash­ion­istas

red

and

rac­ing style, will have their chance to show off their best red and black look to com­pete for Best Dressed in a fash­ion competition hosted by lead­ing stylist and fash­ion co­or­di­na­tor for the Ad­ding­ton and Ric­car­ton races, Christchurch-born An­gela Stone ( www. an­ge­la­s­tone.co.nz).

Prizes for the win­ners of the best dressed in­clude a hol­i­day to the Sun­shine Coast in Aus­tralia, while the first 500 at­ten­dees through the gates wear­ing red and black will be given a $20 bet­ting voucher.

Celebri­ties and sport­ing stars in­clud­ing Dean Lon­er­gan, Steve Price and Nathan Rarere have al­ready pledged their sup­port to the In­ter Do­min­ion and will be at­tend­ing the grand fi­nal.

Har­ness rac­ing en­thu­si­asts will also be care­fully watch­ing cham­pion horse Blacks A Fake in the grand fi­nal.

Blacks A Fake is rated by many ex­perts as the great­est Aus­tralian stan­dard­bred of all time.

He has won the grand fi­nal in four out of the past five years and is trained and driven by a young fe­male who has been dom­i­nat­ing with this horse in Aus­tralia and blitz­ing her ri­vals in what has tra­di­tion­ally been a male dom­i­nated sport.

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