Cen­te­nary har­ness meet­ing at­tracts su­per­star line-up

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

There will be no short­age of fire power at Cam­bridge Race­way’s cen­te­nary meet­ing on Fri­day evening, with the mile­stone event at­tract­ing the cream of New Zealand har­ness rac­ing to the Waikato venue.

Cam­bridge Race­way chief ex­ec­u­tive, Dave Branch elected to shift both the Gr.3 Har­courts (Te Awa­mutu) Cam­bridge Trot­ters Fly­ing Stakes (1700m) and Gr.2 McMil­lans Equine Feeds Waikato Fly­ing Mile (1609m) to the Cen­te­nary meet­ing and the move looks to have paid div­i­dends.

“Tra­di­tion­ally they have been on that ear­lier Jan­uary meet­ing, but we spaced it out a bit more from the Auck­land (New Year’s Eve) meet­ing in the hope of at­tract­ing a few of the bet­ter horses from the Auck­land Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said.

“The Waikato Fly­ing Mile has al­ways been a race that has brought the crowds. I re­mem­ber Chris­tian Cullen when he won the race and go­ing through the past win­ners it’s a pretty im­pres­sive roll of hon­our.

“We’re ex­cited to have an­other qual­ity line-up in the fea­ture race on Fri­day night.”

Lead­ing the charge are New Zealand’s lead­ing train­ers Mark Pur­don and Natalie Ras­mussen, who will line-up two of New Zealand’s most ex­cit­ing pac­ers in the Waikato Fly­ing Mile.

They are last year’s Gr.1 New Zealand Cup (3200m) win­ner The­fixer, who will have his first start since his vic­tory in the two-mile fea­ture in Novem­ber, and last-start Auck­land Cup win­ner Turn It Up.

The Rolle­ston train­ing part­ner­ship have had a great as­so­ci­a­tion with the race, win­ning it in 2017 with world­beat­ing pacer Lazarus and again in 2015 with Adore Me, who set a race and New Zealand record with her win­ning time of 1.51.6.

One per­son that will be look­ing to spoil Pur­don’s party is his brother-in­law, leg­endary driver Tony Her­lihy, who will pi­lot last year’s race win­ner Star Gal­le­ria.

The Steven Reid-trained run­ner looks a lead­ing chance after his last-start run­ner-up per­for­mance be­hind Turn It Up in the Auck­land Cup last week and the son of Art Ma­jor will be aim­ing to turn the ta­bles on his op­po­nent on Fri­day.

Mem­bers of the thor­ough­bred com­mu­nity will have a horse to bar­rack for in the Fly­ing Mile, with Group One win­ner Turn It Up be­ing part-owned by Hall of Fame thor­ough­bred trainer Jim Gibbs.

“We are ex­pect­ing a big crowd and a great at­mos­phere, it will be a great night of rac­ing.”

The gates to Cam­bridge Race­way will open at 5pm on Jan­uary 11, with race­go­ers en­cour­aged to dress-up for the 1920s themed event.

En­ter­tain­ment on the night will in­clude the Cro­quet Club, the Colts and Fil­lies club with free ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren, a pop-up photo booth, a speakeasy themed bar and band, and a Fash­ions on the Fields com­pe­ti­tion with five cat­e­gories and an over­all win­ner.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion visit: www.cam­bridger­ace­way.co.nz/page/ cen­te­nary – Cam­bridge Race­way

Photo / Sol­diers Road Por­traits.

The Fash­ions on the Fields com­pe­ti­tion will have five cat­e­gories and an over­all win­ner at Cam­bridge Race­way on Fri­day night.

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