Hawera "absolutely delighted" to back this week

Harness racing returns to Hawera this week, and Taranaki Racing Chief Executive Carey Hobbs is confident it's here to stay this time.

The grass track 75 kilometres south of New Plymouth will be back in action on Friday and Sunday, after last year's meetings were held at the Manawatu Raceway in Palmerston North.

"We are absolutely delighted to be back running meetings,” says Hobbs.

A total of 129 nominations were received for Friday and there will be 11 races, including the Stratford Cup. The Hawera Cup will be Sunday's feature.

"It’s a strong indication that there has to grass track racing in the North Island as well as the south.”

“We want to be the Methven or the Motukarara of the North Island!”

The only negative is that under "red" the meeting will not be what it could have been, according to Hobbs.

“It’s not ideal we are at red because if we’d been at orange it would have a massive weekend, because there are the harness meetings on the Friday and Sunday and Taranaki gallops has its big day at New Plymouth on the Saturday.”

“Hopefully that’s something that will happen next year.”

It's expected that on both Friday and Sunday there will be two pods of up to 100 people on course. Owners wanting to attend need to email [email protected]

And Hobbs will have an especially keen eye on one of Friday's races.

His one-win trotter Mocca Francy, that he races along his family, will be driven by Crystal Hackett in race 5, the BJ Towers Plumbing Trot.

Racing on Friday starts at 12.14pm

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