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Christchurch race tracks are expecting record results at this year’s New Zealand Cup and Show Week.
25,000 punters and spectators are expected to pace through the gates on New Zealand’s most highly anticipated race day, the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day, and add to the overall $30 million revenue expected from tourism.
On and off course investments for Addington Raceway are expected to reach $9.9 million for their two biggest race days combined.
That’s not surprising considering the stakes for this year’s harness racing – a staggering $1.2 million – the largest in New Zealand harness racing history.
Addington Raceway Chief Executive Officer, Mike Godber, says expectations are high and there are some great modifications to the grounds in time for New Zealand Cup and Show Week.
“Early indications are that we are on track to at least match our record figures from last year that included over 26,000 people attending Cup Day alone. With the new look Lindauer Lawn almost complete we are excited about creating an even better experience on New Zealand’s premier race day than ever before.”
On the other side of the track, Riccarton Park looks positive for New Zealand Cup and Show Week with a steady increase from last year’s events.
Canterbury Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer, Tim Mills, says the Club is continually working towards enhancing the experience for those who attend the races.
“Particular effort this year is being directed to the first day of New Zealand Cup and Show Week, Saturday 8 November, and the middle day – Wednesday 12, to mirror the huge growth and success of Cup Day.”
Mr Mills says he expects this years spring festival will exceed last years great results.
“Last year, combined on and off course investments for Riccarton Park reached $11.6 million. That’s up 9.3% on 2006.
“16,000 people came through our gates in 2007 and bet $1.419 million. They’re both modern day records,” he said.
A recent Economic Impact Study found over 51,000 people attended the racing events during the 2006 New Zealand Cup and Show Week, with 14% of attendees flying to Christchurch from the North Island.
With the Christchurch City Council marketing the New Zealand Cup and Show Week brand, the week long event held over November 7-15 is fast securing its place on the Australasian racing and festival calendar.