Horse & Crowd

From the Otaki Street Scene- Spring 2013

ALL THE FUN OF THE RACES (Download the full article from here)

The racing season has rolled around quickly again this year. For the uninitiated, the racing calendar begins on August 1 each year – coinciding with the day that all registered thoroughbred
racehorses celebrate their birthday.
The Otaki-Maori Racing Club has a new focus and drive this year and the community can look forward to some innovative and exciting on-course events. The racecourse itself continues to be a very popular functions venue for weddings and reunions, and larger business workshops and conferences are regular events.
Hosting these functions is an area the club is growing.

One of the main attractions is the layout of the buildings and grounds, and the large seating capacity, one of the few venue options of this size in the Horowhenua/Kapiti region. The cleangreen tree environment, expansive grounds and views into the Tararuas have also made it popular as an outdoor venue.
The club now has an events specialist who is available free to all users of the venue for planning, development and managing of events if needed.
More than 80 horses are in training at the facility. Training starts about 5am, six days a week. The club boasts some of New Zealand’s most notable trainers and can certainly claim some high quality winners.
During spring the club will race on Thursday September 5 for the Mitavite-sponsored “Spring Start Raceday”, and Saturday October 19, a new Saturday raceday for the club, giving it a total of 12 raceday licences. November brings Melbourne Cup day, and Thursday November 14 is the last raceday before Christmas.
The club has been offering VIP packages to local business, and a hospitality starter kit comes complete with reserved seating,luncheon and refreshments with a named race and advertising
exposure all for as low as $225. These have been a huge hit.
In the New Year the Otaki-Maori Racing Club holds one of the biggest events in the region, the Interislander Summer Festival Raceday. Last year more than 7000 people attended, with heaps
of entertainment for the kids.
On Melbourne Cup day, Tuesday November 5, the club will have a nine-race programme and will commemorate Kiwi, famous for his win in the 1983 Melbourne Cup. Kiwi stormed home from
nearly last to win the cup.
The club’s “When Kiwi Won The Cup” raceday is not to be missed. Among the items on display will be Kiwi’s Melbourne Cup, his rug and other memorabilia. At the same time, the 30th anniversary of Kiwi’s win will be celebrated with the cutting of a specially decorated cake.
With live races running oncourse at Otaki and a live telecast from Melbourne, a live band on the lawn, fashion competitions and spot prizes,a huge turnout is expected.
Hospitality packages are available and suitable for all budgets. The running of the 2013 Melbourne Cup can be viewed onscreen just after 5pm.

-For information about events, see, or join the club on Facebook

Haunui Farm Sponsor the Group 1!

Monday 21 February 2011

The Otaki-Maori Racing Club’s Group One Weight for Age race on February 26th will benefit from a new major sponsor with Auckland’s Haunui Farm taking up the naming rights of the race for a minimum of three years.

Now to be known as The Haunui Farm Group 1 WFA Classic, the 1600m contest has been won in recent times by the likes of Mufhasa, Culminate, Alamosa, Sir Slick and Darci Brahma – horses that have all gone on to attain further success in their racing careers. “We see it as important to be associated with racing at the elite level and when you take a look at the list of past winners, this race is second to none,” says Mark Chitty, General Manager of Haunui Farm. “Opportunities to sponsor at Group One level are few and far between in New Zealand and when we were approached by the team at RACE, we felt it was the right time to step up,” he said. “The New Zealand racing industry is at a critical stage and we felt it was important to step up and support the local industry and what better way to do it than by sponsoring a Group One WFA race,” said Mark.

“We have a strong association with the Central Districts and have a growing number of clients in the area,” said Mark. “We are very pleased to formally associate ourselves with RACE by sponsoring at Otaki and we look forward to seeing the race continue as one of New Zealand’s leading WFA contests,” says Mark.

The Haunui Farm Group 1 WFA is consistently among the highest rated races in New Zealand with last season’s victor Mufhasa, this year’s winner of the JR & N Burkett $1,000,000 Telegraph Handicap at the Century City Wellington Cup Carnival. The past winners list reads as a who’s who of New Zealand racing highlighting the quality and strength required to win the Otaki-Maori Racing Clubs flagship race.
RACE Inc Chief Executive Matt Reid adds “We are delighted to have a new partner involved with one of our region’s, and the industry’s, most significant races.

We are very pleased to formalise a long term partnership with Haunui and this race sponsorship reinforces their commitment to the New Zealand industry, an industry that they have been involved in for over sixty years.” The Haunui Farm Group 1 WFA Classic 2011 will be held at Otaki-Maori Racing Club on Saturday 26th February.

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Following a particularly difficult period where a number of sheduled race meetings at Otaki were abandoned or transferred, the Otaki-Maori Racing Club decided that major ground work was required to reduce drainage issues and improve the track surface.

This work has been completed and they are waiting for the surface to improve to a standard that will allow racing again. 

As at the 24th June, the first races back on the track are now scheduled to be on October 21st 2018 to ensure that the benefits from the ground renovations are maximised longer term.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.


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