Otago Daily Times

Waik­ouaiti makes most of new date


- STAFF REPORTER Sports · Horse Racing · Pechos frios · Wellington, New Zealand · South Island · Waikouaiti

THE Waik­ouaiti Rac­ing Club is not sit­ting on its hands and mop­ing af­ter be­ing forced to move its rac­ing day.

In fact, thanks to the gen­eros­ity of a club fur­ther north, the new meet­ing for the club has more meaning for own­ers and train­ers.

The club was al­lo­cated a new date in the 2020­21 cal­en­dar, mov­ing to Jan­uary 16, with the races now tak­ing place at the Win­ga­tui track.

Waik­ouaiti Rac­ing Club pres­i­dent Andy Den­ham said though it was the end of an era af­ter nearly 160 years of rac­ing on its home course at Waik­ouaiti on New Years day, it was a chance to re­set and start afresh.

The club was de­ter­mined to put on a fun day of rac­ing at Win­ga­tui for the whole fam­ily. There will be food ven­dors, en­ter­tain­ment for chil­dren, games and car­ni­val rides and two or three bars for the pub­lic, in­clud­ing a well ap­pointed gar­den bar. Al­co­hol is not al­lowed to be brought on to the venue.

It is a fea­ture day and will at­tract

some of the best horses and the bonus of the day is that the Wellington Rac­ing Club has given the win­ner of the Waik­ouaiti Cup free en­try into the Wellington Cup, two weeks af­ter the race at Win­ga­tui.

The Waik­ouaiti club ap­proached the Wellington club and the cap­i­tal club agreed to the pro­posal. The Waver­ley Rac­ing Club, in south Taranaki, has also been given the op­tion of al­low­ing the win­ner of its fea­ture race to make the trip to Wellington.

There were no lengthy stay­ing events when the races were at Waik­ouaiti, so that is an­other bonus in mov­ing to Win­ga­tui.

Horse num­bers are also ex­pected

to be good, thanks to a bet­ter place­ment of the meet­ing on the rac­ing cal­en­dar and more money should be at stake.

The club was of­fer­ing spe­cial and pri­vate venues to fam­i­lies and groups and var­i­ous pack­ages were avail­able.

Now all the club was hop­ing for was for the day to be fine and weather be­have it­self.

Can­ter­bury trainer Michael Pit­man, who was awarded South Is­land trainer of the year for last sea­son, was set to bring many of his horses south and be based at Waik­ouaiti over the hol­i­day pe­riod, as he has done for many years.

 ??  ?? Andy Den­ham
Andy Den­ham

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