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Black and White Start to Auckland Cup Week

For Immediate Release
28 February 2008

Black and White Start to Auckland Cup Week
The countdown begins to the racing summer’s grand finale at Ellerslie (March 1-8)

Aucklanders are being asked to swap their blues for black and white, the traditional colours of Derby Day, as Auckland Cup Week kicks off with the Mercedes Derby Day on Saturday 1 March.

It’s part of the Auckland Racing Club’s bid to make the week Auckland’s biggest party, with three days of high stakes action on course and over $150,000 in fashion prizes for those who dress to impress at Ellerslie.

Fashion lines up alongside the thoroughbreds as one of the key attractions and Chief Executive, Chris Weaver believes this is why Ellerslie is fast becoming known as the most female-friendly sports event on the calendar.

“Fashion is a huge part of our entertainment package and dressing in black and white is an invitation to take style one step further and reflect the heritage of the Mercedes Derby, the feature race of the day.”

That race will see Jockey Vinny Colgan ride the hot favorite, Red Ruler, in a bid to become the most successful Derby Jockey in New Zealand History. With four previous Derby wins, another one on Saturday will set Vinny’s name apart in the history books.

Records aside, with family activity planned for the infield, the national fashion final, the Mercedes Prix de Fashion and Jordan Luck to keep the party going after the racing finishes, Ellerslie is set to deliver the biggest race day of the summer this Saturday.

All across the course there has been significant growth since the week long racing extravaganza was introduced three years ago.

Organisers are coping with a significant increase in the number of marquees with 25 marquees booked across all three days

On course at Ellerslie, the hospitality crew is working around the clock to prepare for the requirements of thousands of patrons including;

7,200 oysters
18,000 prawns
1000 crayfish
32,000 flutes of bubbles
52,000 bottles of beer
On the track, the horses will get through 1400 shoes as they run 18,000 kilometres across 50 races.

The only statistic still not known to the Club is how many raindrops will fall.
The weather forecast for Saturday is looking wet but with the renovated facilities at Ellerslie, there’s no chance rain will spoil the fun.

Diary of the Week follows.


Notes to Editors:


Mercedes Derby: Red Ruler/Nom de Jeu
Stella Artois Auckland Cup: Prized Touch/Spin Around

Mercedes Prix de Fashion Run Sheet

When What
1.00pm  Mercedes Prix de Fashion judging begins featuring John Campbell, Carol Hirschfeld, Bridget Hope (editor of Simply You) and Ellerslie Ambassador, Bridgette O’Sullivan as judges and MC, Kate Hawkesby.
2.50pm  List of 20 semi-finalists announced – judges choose 5 additional finalists from entrants on the day.
Approx 3.30  Finals – contestants parade for the last time.
Approx 4.00  Judging completed
4.02  Race 7
Straight after race 7  Dais Presentation / announcement of winner

Mercedes Derby Day Racing Schedule

Race 1 – 12:15pm
Race 2 – 12.50
Race 3 – 1:30
Race 4 – 2:05
Race 5 – 2.42
Race 6 – 3.22
Race 7 – 4.02 - Followed by Prix de Fashion Dais Presentation
Race 8 – 4.42
Race 9 – 5.42 - Running of the Mercedes Derby
Race 10 – 6.02

Auckland Cup Week Parade of Champions – Tuesday 4 March
The official Auckland Cup Week street parade will be held on Broadway, Newmarket commencing at 12:30pm.

Stella Artois Auckland Cup Day (Wednesday 5 March)љ
Auckland will converge on Ellerslie to celebrate “our race that stops our nation.”љ This is the serious race day with all eyes on the big race, the $700,000 Stella Artois Auckland Cup at 5.50pm.љ

First Sovereign Trust Diamond Day – Saturday 10 March
Features the $200,000 First Sovereign Trust Stakes and the $175,000 Ford Diamond Stakes. Also features Angela Daniel from Angela Daniel Jewellery accompanied by her Angels. The most stylish racegoers will be blessed during the day and be in the running to win a $25,000 diamond, with five runners up each receiving a $1,000 diamond! Celebrations on the day included Ellerslie’s renowned “Whips n Spurs” party. A fitting way to wrap a week of ultimate entertainment.


© Scoop Media

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