Big day at the races

Preparations for tomorrow’s Poverty bay Turf Club’s races are on track and down to final touches such as a fresh lick of paint on the fence that marks the inside edge of the racecourse. First Class Decorators (left) Jordon Anderson and Shon Franklyn enjoy East Coast fresh air and sunshine as they freshen up the spectators’ side of the running rail. Picture by Paul Rickard

STRONG fields including horses chasing glamour races, the prospect of a good track and a fine day combined with a family-friendly programme all add up to the promise of a successful race day for Poverty Bay Turf Club tomorrow.

Turf Club president Alan Davidson is delighted with the acceptances for the nine-race programme, a part of the Interislander Summer Festival.

After the cancellation of the Te Aroha meeting on Wednesday the club received an increase in acceptances for Sunday.

The track has been steadily improving from a slow rating a few days ago and could be up to a dead four by Sunday, which would be the best conditions possible in the North Island after heavy rain elsewhere.

All the races have full or nearly full fields that are close to the club’s limit of runners.

“Everything is on song for a good family day,” Mr Davidson said.

Hawkes Bay Racing chief executive Butch Castles said the fields were strong for the nine races.

The stables that traditionally support the meeting, Team Rogerson, Ralph Manning and Kevin Myers, are back and have been joined by Tony Pike who has a big team entered from his Cambridge base.

Scapolo seeking a win

Scapolo, the winner of 18 races and $750,000 is seeking to win his third successive Poverty Bay Cup, this year sponsored by Gisborne’s Zame family.

The Gisborne Refrigeration 2000m, a R65 event has drawn a quality field including a couple of runners who still have Vodafone NZ Derby aspirations. Sacred Day was electrifying in his win at Hastings on February 1 and Iago has been competitive in strong three year old company all season.

The fact the Gisborne track is likely to get back to a dead surface when much of the rest of the North Island has been ravaged by wet weather has helped the fields, but a trip away and some good old fashioned East Coast hospitality is also an attraction, Mr Castles said.

Publicity officer Katrina Duncan said the gates would open at 10.30am on Sunday with racing beginning at 12.57.

“We have a few gazebos available to hire, but over and above that all other hospitality packages are sold out,” she said.

There is heaps of family fun, and prizes to be won throughout the festival, including family passes on the Interislander.

The Pinehollow Equestrian Gallop, in which local young talent on their own local ponies race, will take place between races two and three.

The More FM kids go racing team will be on site throughout the day running some on track races for the kids too.

There’s kids go racing packs for the first lucky kids who arrive at the races, so we encourage kids to find the large marquee with the kids go racing team.

Additionally Makaraka School will be hosting some fun activities in the area with bouncy castles, face painters etc.

If you just turn up on the day then the food trucks are on site all day, or pack a picnic and enjoy the festivities in the grandstand or on the lawn throughout the day.

Fashion in the Field is back with prizes for entrants, and Kylie Bax joins to judge our best dressed lady, man and couple. Entries can be lodged at on the day up until the end of race three. Judging will take place between races four and five.

“We hope that Gisborne comes out in force to support the Poverty Bay Turf Club and keep racing alive and well in Gisborne,” Ms Duncan said.

STRONG fields including horses chasing glamour races, the prospect of a good track and a fine day combined with a family-friendly programme all add up to the promise of a successful race day for Poverty Bay Turf Club tomorrow.

Turf Club president Alan Davidson is delighted with the acceptances for the nine-race programme, a part of the Interislander Summer Festival.

After the cancellation of the Te Aroha meeting on Wednesday the club received an increase in acceptances for Sunday.

The track has been steadily improving from a slow rating a few days ago and could be up to a dead four by Sunday, which would be the best conditions possible in the North Island after heavy rain elsewhere.

All the races have full or nearly full fields that are close to the club’s limit of runners.

“Everything is on song for a good family day,” Mr Davidson said.

Hawkes Bay Racing chief executive Butch Castles said the fields were strong for the nine races.

The stables that traditionally support the meeting, Team Rogerson, Ralph Manning and Kevin Myers, are back and have been joined by Tony Pike who has a big team entered from his Cambridge base.

Scapolo seeking a win

Scapolo, the winner of 18 races and $750,000 is seeking to win his third successive Poverty Bay Cup, this year sponsored by Gisborne’s Zame family.

The Gisborne Refrigeration 2000m, a R65 event has drawn a quality field including a couple of runners who still have Vodafone NZ Derby aspirations. Sacred Day was electrifying in his win at Hastings on February 1 and Iago has been competitive in strong three year old company all season.

The fact the Gisborne track is likely to get back to a dead surface when much of the rest of the North Island has been ravaged by wet weather has helped the fields, but a trip away and some good old fashioned East Coast hospitality is also an attraction, Mr Castles said.

Publicity officer Katrina Duncan said the gates would open at 10.30am on Sunday with racing beginning at 12.57.

“We have a few gazebos available to hire, but over and above that all other hospitality packages are sold out,” she said.

There is heaps of family fun, and prizes to be won throughout the festival, including family passes on the Interislander.

The Pinehollow Equestrian Gallop, in which local young talent on their own local ponies race, will take place between races two and three.

The More FM kids go racing team will be on site throughout the day running some on track races for the kids too.

There’s kids go racing packs for the first lucky kids who arrive at the races, so we encourage kids to find the large marquee with the kids go racing team.

Additionally Makaraka School will be hosting some fun activities in the area with bouncy castles, face painters etc.

If you just turn up on the day then the food trucks are on site all day, or pack a picnic and enjoy the festivities in the grandstand or on the lawn throughout the day.

Fashion in the Field is back with prizes for entrants, and Kylie Bax joins to judge our best dressed lady, man and couple. Entries can be lodged at on the day up until the end of race three. Judging will take place between races four and five.

“We hope that Gisborne comes out in force to support the Poverty Bay Turf Club and keep racing alive and well in Gisborne,” Ms Duncan said.

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