Trot along to Alexandra Park Raceway Friday night for the opening night of their Auckland Cup Carnival. They promise delicious dining packages in both the Top of the Park Restaurant and Tasman Room. All the excitement of the harness racing will be broken up with a couple of Annah Stretton fashion shows to inspire your change of season wardrobe.
Details: Friday, racing starts 5pm. Alexandra Park. Website here.
The TV3 Derby Day
Saturday is the start of New Zealand's richest, biggest and most glamorous week of racing including the $750,000 TV3 New Zealand Derby. More money gets handed over (purses of $100,000, $50,000 Lindsay Mile and $40,000), as well as an eminently worthwhile $30,000 for the Prix de Fashion the national Fashions in the Field final. Bruce Springsteen ticketholders get free general admission (show your ticket at the gate).
Pack a picnic or head to the Federal Food in the Field for the usual amazingness from The Grill by Sean Connolly and Peter Gordon's Bellota. Picnics and Ponies is a great family area featuring free children's pony rides, the More FM KidsZONE, Popsicle Planet, bouncy castles, swingball and more. You can cook your lunch on Ellerslie's big barbecue or bring your own picnic (no BYO alcohol). Kids under 15 are free.
Details: Saturday, gates open at 10.30am, first race approx 12.20pm. Tickets start at $20 for an individual ticket and range to $250. Website here.
Onetangi Beach Races
This throw back to country races of old even has it's own fashion event as well as the expected horses. Somehow tractors and amphibious craft get into the act, racing on the golden sands and in the blue waters of Onetangi Beach this Sunday. One of the best family days of summer with events for children, food, raffles and competitions.
Details: Sunday, 10am to 3pm. Onetangi Beach, The Strand, Auckland. Free. Website here.
The weekend's weather: