Races are underway as thousands of punters look on at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway for the New Zealand Trotting Cup today.
New Zealand Cup and Show Week is back to full-bore this year, after two years of pandemic disruptions.
The defending champion Copy That claimed back-to-back New Zealand Trotting Cup titles.
Trained by Ray Green and driven by Blair Orange, the 2021 winner hit the front early and never lost the lead, pulling away in the final stages.
Majestic Cruiser finished second, with Spankem coming home third.
Cup Day was Zoe Wise’s favourite day of the year.
She had travelled from Sydney specifically for it.
“Christchurch is originally home for me, I’ve missed out on this day for four years now, so here I am. I’ve been lots of times before, going since I was probably about 18,” she explained.
The plan for the day was simple, Wise said.
“We’re heading in, we’re having some brekkie [first] to line our stomachs. We’ll have a couple of drinks here, then get a bus from Carlton to Addington Raceway. From there, hopefully we manage to stick together and make some money.”
Stefan Spijkerman was looking forward to his first races, hosted by his work, Coca Cola.
“We’re in the Emersons Village today, on the inner track, so that will be fun. I haven’t been to the races, [though] I’ve worked them a few times before,” he said.
“But it’ll be good to go and be on the other side of the fence this time.”
It was great to see people flocking back into the city and supporting hospitality venues, he said.
Christchurch Hospital staff Queenie Victor, Carol Smith, Loice Ndlovu, Anne Fuller and Judy McQuoid were looking forward to a day where they could relax.
There was only one thing on their minds.
“The fun of it all,” one yelled.
“Being able to laugh, being able to get away from the seriousness of work and just being able to let your hair down and have fun, fun fun,” another said.
The group were pleased to be back at the race track after having to watch a televised version of the race at Christchurch Casino last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
They were looking forward to placing a bet or two, though doubted their punts would be winners.
Addington Raceway racing manager Darrin Williams told Morning Report the day would be a ripper.
“We’ve got fashion in the field, we’ve got champions parade on the track including three of our last champions – Monkey King, Lazarus and Terror to Love, which has [previously] won $10m in stakes,” he explained.
“The Crusader’s guardian horses will also be on the track. Plus we’ve got a cup for the ages, it’s going to be a very, very even race.”
William’s pick for the Cup was Rock N Roll Doo, who had won the Victoria Cup before arriving in New Zealand.
“I’m tipping him without absolute conviction because there’s a number [of horses in the race] who have a massive chance of winning. But I do like him a bit, he’s New Zealand bred.”
The New Zealand Trotting Cup is set to run at 5.36pm, with stake of $600,000.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz