We went to the races on New Year’s Day at the Auckland Racing Club in Ellerslie. A friend had two horses running which always adds a special interest. Both had a bad draw so their starting positions were not ideal. However, they ran good races coming fourth and fifth.
But for many of us, it’s not really about the horses, but more about a fun day out with friends. We got ourselves all dressed up in our glad rags with hats with a little cash in our purses.
We wanted to start the day in style so had a lovely lunch at Masu. After an outstanding meal of sashimi, sushi, tempura prawns and many other delicacies we headed off to Ellerslie. We spent most of the day in the members stand, but another great alternative is to pack a picnic and enjoy the afternoon on the lawn under an umbrella. The grounds are beautiful with manicured lawns and outstanding aged trees providing great shelter from the sun. The new stabling area has recently been opened allowing the public to get up close to the magnificent thoroughbreds. Regardless of where you choose to be on the race course, it’s a people watching extravaganza.
So, if a day at the races sounds appealing the next big summer meet is the Karaka Million on 26 January 2019
It is a spectacular event from 4 40pm to 7 50pm with just six races where you’ll see the who’s who in the racing industry mixing with an influx of Auckland’s social set at functions on the course.
The Karaka Million races coincide with the opening of New Zealand’s premier thoroughbred yearling sales at Karaka in South Auckland. There are many overseas visitors in town for the sales with a number of them attending the evening races. The prize money is huge with two $1,000,000 NZD races.
The big races, the Karaka Million will see fourteen of the country’s most promising two-year-old thoroughbred horses compete for the $1,000,000 Karaka Million and a similar race for the three-year olds.
The racecourse absolutely buzzes from the get-go and when the last race is run many people descend on the Cuvée Bar where the party continues.