Addington ready for 16-race marathon

Addington Raceway is gearing up for a record-breaking day.

Transferred from the iconic South Bay track because of Covid restrictions, the Kaikoura Cup meeting at Addington today will feature 16 races, and 222 horses.

“It’s going to be marathon programme alright,” says Addington Raceway’s Racing Industry Manager Darrin Williams, “we’ve never had 16 races in a day before.”

In August a 17-race meeting was planned. It was a combination of two meetings (Addington and Ashburton) but it did not go ahead because of Covid restrictions.

Today is going to be all about logistics.

“We only have 150 stalls for one thing,” says Addington’s Venues Manager John Denton, “so it’s going to be like the trials, horses will have to come and go all day.”

“The float park has practically doubled in size too,” says Denton.

With the New Zealand Cup (November 9) and Show Day (November 12) meetings fast approaching Denton has already overseen an upgrade of the Addington track.

“We’ve graded it and re-laid new material, 100 tons in total, so that will get us through Kaikoura, the Cup trials on Wednesday and then Cup and Show Day,” says Denton.

The material he talks of is sand mixed with a four millimetre chip.

“You want a good cushion but not too much…you want to see the hoofprint and the frog of the foot.”

With Christchurch at Alert Level Two only essential workers, sponsors and owners of horses racing at the meeting will be allowed on course.

But even without the crowds everyone at Addington will be flat out wrangling horses, trainers and drivers on a day that will see seven hours of continuous racing, starting at 11.39am.

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