The Gore Racing Club track was perfect for the first official race meet of the season last Friday, club president Justine Abernathy said.
“It was really great. We had a lot of trainers come from Canterbury. Our track was superb this year. The weather’s been good .. our club has a lot of farmers in it who know all about aerating and grass-growing,” Abernathy said.
Due to conditions around New Zealand, trainers travelled far to give their horses a run.
“There’s really wet conditions in Canterbury, so we had lots of trainers and horses from there. Last year, we had eight races and this year we had nine due to all the extra horses running.”
Abernathy said they were happy to see trainers from across the country.
“It’s nice for us to have visitors and it’s also nice for the community; they may stay the night or for a meal, which is helping out our local businesses.”
Abernathy said the winners were paid well, “on and off the track”.
“In the Abernathy Contracting Handicap, a horse called Passito, trained by Steven Prince, was $28.70 for a win.”
Racegoers also got to see southern stars Tommy Tucker and Coulee gallop in between races. The horses, trained by Brian and Shane Anderton, travelled with the racing team to Gore to practise on a track in fine conditions.
With the Christchurch Cup around the corner, the Otago trainers decided to run the horses after a wet winter and a lack of local trial meetings.
Tommy Tucker is entered for the Couplands Mile in New Zealand Cup week but is behind schedule and Brian Anderton said he was determined to get him up to standard for it.
Abernathy said the next raceday would be the Tapanui Racing Club’s on December 24.
“It’s an awesome day for young people and social dos.”