Race-goers flock to Spring Carnival

By Doug Laing

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Police and organisers say punters were well-behaved at Saturday's Spring Racing Carnival in Hastings.
Police and organisers say punters were well-behaved at Saturday's Spring Racing Carnival in Hastings.

Police and racing officials in Hastings hope they've stamped out race-day disorderly behaviour, with a successful culmination of Hawke's Bay Racing's Spring Carnival on Saturday.

Police reported no problems on the course, where about 12 indoor and outdoor bars operated during the 10 races and more than six-hour day of the Spring Classic, Hawke's Bay's richest horse race, which had been under former guises the richest race in New Zealand.

Previously promising to crack down on "pre-loaders," police and security stopped at the gates or ejected two or three people during the day, said one officer.

Hawke's Bay Racing manager Jason Fleming said the day attracted about 5500 people, of whom it is estimated about a third came from outside the Bay to see star-studded fields. Some horses are expected to start in spring racing in Victoria leading up to the Melbourne Cup.

On-course punters bet about $670,000 on races on the course and others throughout Australasia.

"All the feedback we've had has been pretty positive," Mr Fleming said. The next race meeting on the course, on October 24 (the Thursday of Hawke's Bay Show week) will be small by comparison with almost no general public expected.

There are two other race days (November 10 and December 12), before the biggest crowd of the year on the course is expected for the New Year's Day Races.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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