Rats are LUCKY, horses offer fortune at Ellerslie
11 February 2008
Rats are LUCKY but horses offer fortune, as Ellerslie celebrates Chinese New Year.
The Auckland Racing Club will welcome the Chinese New Year, and usher in the year of the rat, with a celebration race meeting on Saturday 16 February.
The spirit of China’s most important holiday will see Ellerslie transformed, with traditional Chinese Lion Dancing, cultural dancers, and Chinese Celebrities adding to the atmosphere.
Twenty thousand punters streamed through the gates at the inaugural Ellerslie Chinese New Year race day in 2007. Auckland Racing Club Chief Executive, Chris Weaver, is proud to continue this colorful tradition, and is hoping for another bumper crowd on track.
“The Auckland Racing Club continues to offer the people of Auckland unique experiences at Ellerslie. Last year our Chinese New Year celebrations were a hit, and Ellerslie was a real spectacle. With a growing Chinese population, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Auckland, with fun for all the family combined with the excitement of an Ellerslie race day”, he said.
For Chinese people living in New Zealand, and worldwide, Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival. In Hong Kong, more than 100,000 people visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club on this special day, to celebrate and test for good luck and prosperity for the New Year.
Chief Executive of World TV Limited New Zealand, Henry Ho, who is a member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is hoping to offer the Chinese community an opportunity to replicate this tradition in their new home.
“Ellerslie is proving to be a place in New Zealand where the Chinese Community can really enjoy horse racing, and with the success of last year’s Chinese New Year Race Day, I am sure we have captured this Hong Kong racing culture and experience for our local community,” he said.
On the track, the day boasts an action packed 8
race card, including the feature race the Group Two
Championship Stakes, with the first three horses home
qualifying for the $700,000 Mercedes Derby on 1 March.
There will be no entrance charge to the race course, and entrance to both the Ellerslie and Ascot (Members') Stands will be free. Hospitality options are available by contacting Courtney Lockwood, Race Day Hospitality Coordinator at email@example.com or on 09 522 3824
Then, prepare yourself for New Zealand’s biggest racing carnival as Ellerslie Celebrates Auckland Cup week from 1 March till 8 March. Saturday 1 March is Mercedes Derby Day, featuring the Mercedes Derby and the nationwide racing fashion final, the Mercedes Prix de Fashion. Wednesday 5 March is Stella Artois Auckland Cup Day featuring the race that stops or nation, and Saturday 8 March is First Sovereign Trust Diamond Day, a day for the ladies to let their hair down and party.