Organisers hail first synthetic tracker race meeting

It was an historic day for Cambridge and the New Zealand racing industry with the official opening of its new (and NZ’s first) synthetic track and for organisers it couldn’t have gone better.

Cambridge Jockey Club chief executive Mark Fraser-Campin said it was a good day’s racing with some strong numbers in the crowd and an estimated 1000-plus audience on hand.

“It was very much a festival atmosphere and a track that we want to give people that country style feel,” he said.

“We didn’t have any complaints and with good food and $5 beers everyone seemed to have an enjoyable day.”

Among the race goers were former racing minister Winston Peters and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Bernard Saundry.

While the crowd was enjoying the meeting those involved on the track were as well, – Fraser-Campin said racing on the track seemed to get more competitive throughout the day.

“There were a lot of little negative things people thought they would find from the track, but everyone seemed to be impressed by it and even the jockeys noted that they weren’t coming back covered in mud which would normally happen this time of year.”

The country’s second synthetic track at Riccarton is expected to open in August and 10 horses were among the contingent which travelled north to get a feel for what they would be getting back home.

“They thought that locals would have an unfair advantage on the track because we train on it, but there were a good range winners and close competition across the field which they seemed to be impressed by,” Fraser-Campin said.

The second meeting at the track will also be a Wednesday meet, on June 2.

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