Father Dan to be remembered on Tuapeka Cup Day

The $25,000 Tuapeka Lodge Cup will highlight a bumper day's racing at Invercargill this Sunday.

A select field of eight, including two-time winner Robyns Playboy, will line up in the 2700 metre feature which is being sponsored by the Cummings family in memory of the late Father Dan Cummings who died in 2020.

A Catholic priest, Father Dan was a legendary figure in southern harness racing. The third of eight children, he got his love of horses from his mother Joan who set up Tuapeka Lodge in 1965. He took over the stud along with siblings Peter and Julie after she died in 1977 and was considered to be years ahead of his time with his progressive thinking on marketing and yearling promotion. He was also a champion rodeo rider in his own right.

At Tuapeka Lodge Sakuntala was their superstar broodmare, and many of their yearlings were sales toppers.

The 2019 and 2020 Cup winner Robyns Playboy will be back for this year's race while trainer-driver Kirstin Green will be attempting to go back-to-back in the Cup after winning last year with Paddyproudfoot. She will drive Tommy Waterhouse, who's been competing against top quality fields in Canterbury.

2021 was the first time the Cup was held at Ascot Park, after a move from Forbury Park. The card will also feature three $20,000 Spring Rewards Finals, and a support card with a minimum stakes of $10,000.

The connections of the best presented horse in each race will receive a bottle of wine courtesy of the Coach & Horses Inn, Lawrence and there will be dress rugs for every race winner along with a wine and glasses gift box.

Kidz Kartz Southland will be having their first outing in 2 years with an exhibition race and there will be plenty of free entertainment on course for the kids with mini jeeps, bouncy castle, face painting and the first 100 kids on course get a free ice cream courtesy of Mr Whippy!

A free bus will also running from Lawrence to Ascot Park. For more information contact Owen Cameron on 027 418 0054.

For $40 per head racegoers can have access to the Top Of The Park, which covers all food and beverages. Tickets can be purchased on the day.

The Ascot Park Racecourse Sunday Market will be on course until 1.30 pm.

Check out the Tuapeka HRC Facebook page and Southern Harness Racing Facebook page and website for more info.

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