Ashburton bringing the harness racing magic

It's their biggest day of harness racing for years - and the Ashburton Trotting Club is confident its Labour weekend meeting on October 24 will live up to its billing as "Magic Monday".

"We came up with the slogan because it's shaping up as such a huge day," says Club president Peter Larkin, "we want it to be a magic day on the course, and also for the big crowd we hope will be part of the action."

"The fact that the meeting's on a public holiday too ... it's set to be Ashburton's biggest day since the Jewels."

Mid Canterbury last hosted the Harness Jewels in 2017 when nine Group 1s were held.

"The committee's super excited to have eight top class races and we are confident Magic Monday will stack up with the best race meetings of the year," says Larkin, "with Cup week just around the corner we are expecting a lot of the country's top pacers and trotters will be here."

Highlighting the action will be Group 2 Ashburton Flying Stakes, a race won in the last decade by the likes of Self Assured, Lazarus and Terror To Love. There will also be two Group 3s for the trotters - the $30,000 Hambletonian and the Ashburton Flying Sprint.

In all over $260,000 of total stakes money will be on offer.

• $50,000 Group 2 Ashburton Flying Stakes
• $30,000 Group 3 Ashburton Trotters Flying Sprint
• $30,000 Group 3 Hambletonian Classic Trot
• $40,000 3yr old Garrard's Colts & Geldings Sires Stakes Sophomore Classic (Listed)
• $22,000 2yr old Woodlands Stud Colts & Geldings NZ Sires Stakes Heat
• $22,000 2yr old Dunstan Horse Feeds Fillies NZ Sires Stakes Heat
• $20,000 3yr old Fillies Nevele R Series Heat
• $20,000 Mares Ashburton Ladies Sprint

"Ashburton's track has seen a number of New Zealand records over the years and with the right conditions I'm sure we will see some really fast and competitive racing," says Larkin.

The club wants to cater for everyone on-course - from those in the corporate area to families enjoying a picnic. Free children's entertainment and prizes, including four new bikes, will be up for grabs on the day.

Of the corporate areas the "Premiere Package" from the upstairs lounge offers the best views, and will be limited to 100 people. It will include complimentary premium beer and wines, as well as a three-course lunch, and is priced at $220 each. The early bird offer for this is $200.

The "Marquee Package" next to the birdcage, limited to 96 people, comes complete with a two-course lunch and complimentary drinks. It is available for $175 (early bird $150).

General admission is $10 (with $2 going to the Cancer Society), and food trucks will be on site.

For more information and/or to buy tickets click here



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