Boxing Day racing action
No Christmas/New Year celebrations are complete without the Boxing Day Races.
The Manawatu Standard Boxing Day Races are a tradition in the region and planning is well underway to make 2016 very special.
Sponsorship and Marketing Manager for the Awapuni Racing Centre, Mel Treweek, says preparations are near completion for the immensely popular event on December 26.
‘‘It’s a relaxed occasion and ideal for the whole family after the busy lead up to Christmas,’’ she says. ‘‘We set out to create a laid back, fun atmosphere where family and friends can enjoy the racing and the additional activities that the Awapuni Racing Centre provides.’’
The emphasis is on family and the centre offers bouncy castles and mini jeeps that youngsters can drive in a secure area. Three bands, DJ Fresh, Craig Loader and Six Chairs Missing will play at different locations and people have plenty of time between races to enjoy the atmosphere and environment that the centre lays on.
‘‘We’re expecting up to 8000 so it’s a major organisational day for us to ensure the course is in tiptop condition and our facilities provide the best of food, refreshment and entertainment,’’ Mel says.
The Manawatu Racing Club offers hospitality packages for individuals and groups. These include a delicious hot buffet lunch and reserved seating in their air conditioned lounge which showcases a stunning panoramic view of the track. Mel advises that people need to book ahead for the packages. A new incentive is for those who book on line.
‘‘Guests are encouraged to purchase their General Admission tickets on line this year and be in with a chance to win $1000 cash!’’ she says. Guests must be on course on the day to receive their winnings and over 18 years of age.
There are eight races, starting at approximately 12 noon and ending at approximately 4.30pm. The major event is the Manawatu Standard Summer Cup which is an open handicap race over 1,600 metres. All races for novice through to well performed horses offer excitement and strong competition.
There are also a few novices in the Undie One-Hundy sponsored by Inspire Net. The over 18 unisex competitors strip to their underwear and sprint a hundred metres to win prizes for both men and women. There’s even a consolation award for the most decorative underwear!
The Manawatu Standard Boxing Day Races are the culmination of a busy month for the Awapuni Racing Centre. Christmas At the Races meetings started on November 19 and continue into next month with the Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes on December 10 and the Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup on December 17.
Ahuge crowd enjoyed last year’s Boxing Day races.