Call to support harness racing highlight in Auck
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
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.