IRT Cup Day at Addington - "outstanding success"

Harness racing's biggest day has been declared "an outstanding success" with turnover on IRT New Zealand Cup Day likely to set a new record.

The final totals have not yet been determined but latest TAB figures show wagering on the 13 races at Addington yesterday was over $7.1m ($7,185,043), which exceeded last year's total by more than $1.5m.

In 2021 however there were only 12 races, and Covid restrictions forced organisers to hold the meeting behind closed doors.

Of yesterday's total there was $744,229 wagered on course, $3,262,770 off course, and $3,178,043 on the fixed odds market.

That equates to $40,365 per starter , compared to last year's figure of $37,254.

Predictably the race that attracted the most interest was the 119th running of the IRT New Zealand Cup, won by favourite Copy That for the second year running.

Turnover was close to $2m with $131,689 on course, $1,039,400 off course and $743,179 on the fixed odds market. That took the total to $1,914,267, or $127,618 per starter

The total for the day is likely to grow, especially when export turnover from Australia in particular is factored in.

Addington Raceway's Racing Industry Manager Darrin Williams declared the day "an outstanding success".

"The last time we had 13 races turnover was $6.7m - I certainly don't remember a harness meeting in this country that's had turnover of $7.1 like we had yesterday."

The only disappointment was that Addington was around 5000 people shy of being a sell out.

"The crowd was around 15,000. General admission was down a bit on what we thought we'd get but everything else was sold out."

"And we were delighted with how everything went logistically, the crowd was well behaved and everyone seemed to have a good time."

Another success was the Champions' Parade where former Cup winners Terror To Love, Monkey King and Lazarus as well as the Crusaders horses took centre stage in front of the main grandstand just after Race 6.

"That was extremely well received," says Williams, "there were a few tears around that's for sure. The horses just looked magnificent."

Attention now turns to Show Day on Friday with the Group 1 features being the $300,000 Renwick Farms Dominion Trot, the $200,000 NZ Pacing Free For All, and the $150,000 Dunstan Horsefeeds Sires' Stakes Fillies Final.

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