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Off and racing! Auckland Cup Week is here...

For immediate release 

Off and racing! Auckland Cup Week is here...

Auckland, 25 February 2013 – New Zealand’s biggest and most glamorous week of thoroughbred racing – Auckland Cup Week - starts this Saturday (1 March), with one of the country’s most prestigious events, TV3 Derby Day.

Derby Day, which continues international traditions that began some 230 years ago, kick starts Auckland Cup Week – the pinnacle of the thoroughbred racing season where only the best is on show – from the best horses and hospitality to the finest fashion.

Cameron George, CEO of Auckland Racing Club, commented, “This year’s Auckland Cup Week continues to underline the international nature of the event with some strong contenders coming from overseas. Two horses arriving from Australia to race for the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup on Wednesday 5 March are worth a watch out - Celtic Prince, trained by ex-pat Kiwi Bjorn Baker, son of leading Cambridge trainer Murray Baker, and Travolta, currently under the tutelage of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Gai Waterhouse. In addition some of Australia’s top jockeys will be riding here, mixing it with the best of NZ. It’s going to be a thrilling week for sure!”

Auckland Cup Week at Ellerslie makes a significant contribution to the local economy and is seen by major corporates as the perfect hospitality and brand showcase.

Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson, a long time sponsor at Ellerslie, sees the eponymously named Auckland Cup Day as one of NZ's premier sporting events.  “It’s great to support an event that’s a mix of glamour and top sporting talent and that every Aucklander can be part of. We encourage Aucklanders to come along and experience the ultimate half day off."

Brent Robinson, Sponsorship and Communications Director for Lion, another long-time supporter commented, “Stella Artois and Lindauer have been partners of Auckland Racing Club for many years and this week in particular is always a highlight on the social calendar. It provides the perfect place to entertain clients as well as providing an opportunity for everybody to enjoy what is one of the great events on the Auckland calendar.”

During Auckland Cup Week at Ellerslie, jockeys and trainers will be competing for more than $2.7 million in stakemoney. In the fashion arena, over $30,000 in prizes will be taken home by the winner of Prix de Fashion, New Zealand’s raceday fashion final held on TV3 Derby Day that attracts contestants from around the country.

Another $20,000 in prizes will be given out at the week’s other fashion competitions – Hawaiian Airlines Cup Couture (Wednesday 5th March) and the Ellerslie Jewellers & Engravers Diamond Darling (Saturday 8th March).
More than $10 million is expected to be wagered over the week while local hotels, retail stores and taxi companies typically benefit from the racing bonanza.

Bruce Sherwin of Raffles Racing, one of the country’s largest thoroughbred racehorse owners, commented, “Our operation targets New Zealand’s carnivals and in particular Auckland Cup Week. The combination of high stakes and black type opportunities means we look to have as many runners as possible across the week. More Than Scared won the Sunline Vase for us last season and will this year run in the Cup.”

Brent Robinson comments, “Personally, Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day is my favourite part of Auckland Cup Week – Auckland Racing Club do it so well and the anticipation leading up to the big race at 5.55pm is great.”  

Adds Cameron George, “Every year Auckland Cup Week gets bigger and bigger. We fully expect this is going to be our best yet.”

ENDS

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