Addington to host 17 races on Sunday

Covid restrictions allowing, Addington Raceway is planning to stage a marathon 17-race meeting on Sunday.

The meeting is essentially a combination of the meeting scheduled for Addington this Friday, and Sunday’s meeting at Ashburton.

Under current restrictions Auckland and Coromandel are under Alert Level 4 for the next week, with the rest of the country in lockdown till midnight on Friday.

Canterbury will have to be at Alert 3 or less for Sunday's meeting to go ahead. Even if the Alert Level is downgraded the decision has already been made that there will not be any crowds.

“The meeting will be held behind closed doors regardless,” says Addington Raceway’s Racing Industry Manager Darrin Williams, “it’s easier, safer and avoids any confusion.”

NO people other than essential staff (trainers, drivers, those involved in horse movements) will be allowed on course at Addington. No public facilities, including bars, will be open.

Everyone on course will have to register, wear face masks, socially distance and regularly use hand sanitiser, as per the usual Covid protocols.

The decision to go with one 17-race meeting comes after hours of talks between Harness Racing New Zealand, the Ashburton and New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Clubs, the NZ TAB and other affected parties.

“We have discussed so many scenarios,” says HRNZ Chief Executive Gary Woodham, “and this is the best option all things considered.”

The Ashburton Trotting Club meeting will see seven races at Addington from 10.50am on Sunday, with 10 NZ Metropolitan Club races to follow (2.18pm – 6.22pm).

“It’s going to be a big long day but we are committed to making it work,” says Williams.

“The key though is the alert levels,” says Woodham, “we need to be at Level 3 or better or the meeting will not go ahead.”

"I would also like to thank Ashburton and Addington for their co-operation to allow us to get an outcome like this."

We will have regular updates on www.hrnz.co.nz whenever new and relevant information comes to hand.

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