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And they’re off

02 March 2012

And they’re off!

And they’re off, or at least they soon will be when racing returns to the Avondale racecourse on Anzac Day afternoon this year.

Avondale Jockey Club has acquired licences to allow the return of the races, once a signature event for the western suburb and its surrounding communities.

Board chair Derek Battersby says the racing revival fits well with the board’s intention to revitalise Avondale by working with the community to determine what’s most needed to restore vibrancy to the township.

“There’s an opportunity to explore how we can work together so that Avondale can take its place as a thriving centre with the community facilities it needs to be part of the fast growing Whau,” he says. “The racecourse is part of that picture.”

The Whau Local Board and the Auckland Council are supportive of Avondale Jockey Club’s desire to develop racing and community facilities and toward that end the Auckland Council is providing funding toward the master planning processes.

“This is a great opportunity for the Avondale Jockey Club to get back to full racing in the foreseeable future.”

Avondale Jockey Club secretary/manager John Craig says the club has been improving the racecourse with fencing and other maintenance work and is looking forward to bringing the Avondale races back to the community.

“They are a great family day out and that’s what we want to bring back to the area,” he says. “We are keen to get racing again and it’s fortunate that we are being helped by other organisations with the same goal in mind.”
Avondale Business Association president and board deputy chair Duncan Macdonald says the Avondale and Rosebank Business Associations are right behind the move.

“We want to help the club become a pivotal part of the Whau,” he explains. “We want to get the races back into Avondale and the community back to the races.”

Mr Macdonald says the racecourse is a huge community asset and the resumption of racing will mean it is one again being used for its intended purpose.


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