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.

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