The first slots race seen in harness racing in Australasia will put the focus on Waipā next Thursday.
The major race on next week’s card at Cambridge Raceway carries a record purse and features a field of pure class, including four Australian entrants.
Setting up the $900,000 invite-only race – The Race by Grins – involved the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Racing Club selling “slots” into the race for $75,000 for a three year term. Similar slot races have garnered huge followings in gallops and greyhound racing in Australia.
Cambridge Raceway chief Dave Branch, who has spearheaded the project, has done everything he can do for the event – the Government announcement this week that the country remains in red means the gate takings will be limited. He just wants April 14 to be a fine day.
“We are hoping there will be 1500 general admission sales and we will have a good atmosphere. In other circumstance we would have been hoping for a crowd of 5000,” he said.
General admission tickets cost $25 and come with complimentary extras. Gates to the eight race card will open at 5pm and the big race starts at 8.55pm.
Branch is delighted with the quality of the field – probably the finest to have lined up at the raceway, and is confident the best show in Waipā next week will draw strong support from throughout the district.
The barrier draw will be made on Saturday. The full field is Krug, Stylish Memphis (Australia), Mach Dan (Aus), Pembrook Playboy, Majestic Cruiser (Aus), Hot And Treacherous, Spankem, South Coast Arden, Self Assured and Alta Orlando (Aus
For updates on the field go to therace.nz