Day At The Track

October news for Owners and trainers

09:34 AM 08 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Alexandra Park, harness racing
Alexandra Park

Many of you are probably in the same boat as all of us here at The Park trying to figure out where on earth 2018 has gone! In saying that though, you can't really complain when the sun & daylight has replaced the chill and darkness! Spring racing really kicked into action last Friday night on our Cancer Society Daffodil Raceday - which also coincided with the second of our 'mile night's' which once again provided a very entertaining and competitive night of racing action. A big thanks goes to everyone involved in these nights so far - the support that we have received from both owners and trainers has been fantastic and really has allowed us to create a new level of hype around these nights. A big congratulations goes to the connections of Mortician who was victorious in the mile trot - earning himself and his connections a national record for his efforts. And no we haven't missed (how could you possibly forget) the heroics of the Ray Green trained and Andre Poutama driven Northview Hustler with his all-the-way victory in the Spring Cup. It was a superbly rated drive from Andre and made for one heck of a finish down the straight. It was great to see (and hear) the winning connections showing such emotion as victory edged closer come the final 200m - highlighting the thrill that harness racing ownership has to offer. We wish all the connections of the Northern trained NZ Cup aspirants the very best of luck as they prepare for the second Tuesday of November - we'll be cheering for you all!

October has two meetings for the month, on the 12th & 26th respectively and we can assure you that there won't be any shortage of action-packed entertainment on track. Club officials have been in touch with Gary Hall Snr and if all plays out as expected over the next few weeks,  the star of WA Chicago Bull will be gracing us with his presence on the night of October 26th as he makes his way also down to Addington for the NZ Cup. Other features on this night will be Heat 1 of the Alabar Sires Stakes series for 3YO Fillies & Heat 4 of the McMillan Equine Feeds Series for the 3YO C&G as well as the much anticipated Monte Saddle trot tote race. The Monte horses and committee behind getting these races off the ground have been grinding away in preparation for this historical event and we are looking forward to seeing them on track. It must be made mention though that this race will only be run should nominations not hold up for the balance of the 10 race licence on this date. The ATC has made a commitment to programming at least three Monte tote races for $6K throughout October-December and should this not get off the ground on the 26th, another has been programmed for November 23 with the programmes of December 8 & 15 (both Saturday meetings) to include a Monte race too.

Other points of note to make for connections is the programming of a 3200m handicap trot for R40 - 60 trotters on the programme of October 12. Again this race will be subject to nominations but it would be great to get the support the mile trot did so we can continue to programme these types of races that offer something a little different from the norm and a great viewing spectacle and something for punters to sink their teeth into. A claimers only race has also been programmed for this night for horses with a claiming price of up to $10K and it would be great to get this off the ground. Racing for a stake of $14,500 against like animals, why not put a claiming price on your horse and see how you go - or even better, should the race get off the ground, round-up a group of your mates and put in a claim - the best part is you can all come back to the track the following meeting and see your new pride and joy already racing under your name! The highlight of October 12 will no doubt be the $20K Kerry Hoggard Memorial - The Holmes DG & after last Friday's running of the Spring Cup, it promises to be another not-to-be-missed event.

Looking forward to the coming months and there is plenty to talk about (however we will cover all of this off in November's edition of the ATC O&T newsletter). Below are a few things to note down in your diary for November & early December - 

- The first 2YO race for the season has been included for the programme of November 30(however again subject to nominations)
- There is a junior drivers 2700m handicap trot programmed for the meeting of November 16 for the up-to-R65 trotters
- The junior drivers race (pace) on the programme of November 30 has had the rating band extended to now include the R40-65 rated pacers. As usual, this race will include the standard field selection policy of preference going to those horses who have not previously won a penalty free drivers race & where possible and to mix the balance of the R40-65 open races, this race will be selected from the top rating downwards. 
- The programmes of November 16 & 30 both have a R60 & faster handicap pace included in them - so if you have a horse who falls into this category and may not have seen the tapes before, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Regan when nominating for the workouts to express your interest in having a go behind the tapes.
- An amateur drivers race will be included in the programme for both Saturday December 8 & 15 for a stake TBC.  The club will measure the success of these races and the support they receive however it is envisaged that throughout the winter months of June-August 2019 an amateur winter series will be programmed here at The Park. Conditions and ratings bands for both the December races and the proposed winter series in 2019 are also still TBC.

​Going forward (and confirmation of this will be communicated to all horsemen/women prior to this coming into force) the ATC have decided that the birdcage procedure of parading in numerical order prior to going on track will once again be re-instated. Countdown clocks will be installed throughout the stables prior to the commencement of this to help allow for the smooth transition of re-instating this protocol. Coinciding with this will be the introduction of new colored saddlecloths (similar to that used at a majority of Metropolitan tracks in Australia). These are due to arrive in the next few weeks and will allow for greater interaction between punters and our racing product.

A note for trainers & drivers - if you have any concerns over the condition of the track on racenight please direct these concerns directly to Todd Macfarlane (Chair of the Horsemen's Association). Todd and the ATC track staff communicate regularly on racenight and should there be any concerns over the condition of the track, these will be communicated to the track staff via Todd and rectified in a timely manner.

Also a reminder for all drivers on racenight - could please remember to warm-up your horse on the outside of the track - this helps to minimise any deterioration to the inside of the track and the subsequent issues that comes with such effects.

Regan Cotter

Racing Manager
09 631 1163
027 249 1205

Additional information

The SAAC (Stable Area Awareness Course) for children aged 6-14 years will take place 1 hour prior to the start of the first tote race on the first meeting of each month here at The Park. Children who pass this course will be issued with a temporary pass which will admit them to the stables when under the supervision of an adult. They will then be issued with photo ID and a lanyard for easy access on racenight (when again under the supervision of an adult). Children are permitted to turn up on the night to partake in the course but we do ask that parents/guardians let the club know (Racing Manager Regan Cotter) when their child will be attending to assist us through this period.

Upcoming S.A.A.C (Stable Area Awareness Course for children aged 6-14) course dates as follows -

Friday October 12

If you have any questions relating to any of the new H&S procedures & policies please don't hesitate to contact Regan or ATC H&S Manager Shane Primrose - / 09 631 1189


Programmes for October & November (tentative) are now online  @

Upcoming  Race Meetings @ The Park

Friday October 12 - (The Holmes DG)
Friday August 26

Upcoming Trial & Workout dates

For those of you who like to get in early and see the videos ASAP (prior to the official results been entered) please remember the race videos can be viewed on (note these will be available via this link once Magness is able to upload the videos onto the HRNZ website).

Saturday 6th October- Trials (RH) & Workouts – Franklin

Saturday 13th October- Trials (LH) & Workouts – Franklin

Saturday 20th October - Workouts – Franklin

Saturday 27th October- Trials (RH) & Workouts – Franklin

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