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Racing Club Announces Richest Sporting Event

Media Release
4 November 2008

Auckland Racing Club Announces New Zealand’s Richest Sporting Event

Ellerslie announces plans for biggest Auckland Cup Week yet.

The summer of racing kicks off at Lindauer Melbourne Cup Day today with, the Auckland Racing Club outlining its plans for hosting New Zealand’s richest sporting event, Auckland Cup Week 2009.

The week long racing carnival begins on the 28th February, 2009. Auckland Cup Week will feature two signature races, the $2.2 million New Zealand Derby and the $1 million Stella Artois Auckland Cup with in excess of $5 million in stakes, trophies and fashion prizes across the three racedays.

By comparison the purses for the other major sporting events on the calendar are ASB Tennis Classic, $375,000, the Heineken Tennis Open is $807,000 and the prize pool for the Michael Hill NZ Golf open is $1.1 million.

At today’s on course launch, Auckland Racing Club CEO, Chris Weaver talked of the Club’s commitment to match the size of the stakes with the quality of the party, pointing to investment in improving facilities to ensure race goers can make the most of their days at Ellerslie.

“For four seasons we’ve been working hard to reignite the excitement and energy of a day at the races at Ellerslie. We’ve improved facilities on course with further renovation over the winter, we’ve rejuvenated race day fashion and we’ve made big changes to the season format, ensuring Aucklanders have a racing carnival they can be proud of.

Mr Weaver spoke of the ongoing innovation to Ellerslie’s summer racing programme, thanks to the establishment of new premier race meetings like the Karaka Million.

”Now with the increase in stakes for the New Zealand Derby and the Stella Artois Auckland Cup, Auckland Cup Week at Ellerslie is the richest sporting event in the country and one which Aucklanders should be proud of.”

“With endorsement from the Auckland City Council, and Tourism Auckland, the positive impact Auckland Cup Week offers the city has it earmarked as one of the key strategic events for the region,” he said.

Lindauer Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie offers a full day of racing, fashion and fun, with all eyes on the big race, live from Flemington at 5.00pm. Both last year’s New Zealand Derby winner, C'est La Guerre and Stella Artois Auckland Cup winner Prize Lady will be challenging hard for the Emirates Melbourne Cup, previewing the quality of talent that will feature again during this year’s Auckland Cup Week.

Auckland Racing Club is hoping for some reciprocal Aussie influence on the Ellerslie track come Auckland Cup Week. With a strong New Zealand presence in Melbourne over the past weeks and threat of Equine Influenza (EI) behind them, the Club is hoping the increase in stakes will allow Ellerslie to play host to some top Australian horses and jockeys come February 28.

Lindauer Melbourne Cup Day marks the start of ten key race days to be held at Ellerslie over the summer and all indications are that things are looking good.

After refurbishments to key hospitality areas and the addition of New Zealand’s only two storey marquee to a prime trackside location, sales figures point to the biggest Lindauer Melbourne Cup Day and upcoming Lindauer Twilight Summer Series December race day yet!

For tickets and hospitality options visit


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