Racing codes combine in action-packed meeting

By Cameron Leslie

Horses, frocks, and a bit of fun are on the cards ahead of tomorrow's Ruakaka races.

A full programme of 15 races will see history made as trotters and pacers race on the grass track for the first time, with recent rain ensuring the sand-based track is in ideal condition.

The programme includes eight gallop and seven harness races (see insert for fields).

Fashionistas will don their best bib as Kidz Kartz will race their miniature ponies down the straight. Also on display will be a Kids Go Racing simulator, a local rock duo, skydivers and on-track entertainment for all ages. There will also be loads of prizes and giveaways and a wide variety of food.

This raceday is a must for any out-of-town holidaymakers who are keen to take along a picnic basket and enjoy the races from the comfort of the embankment, with a patrolled beach within walking distance.

The dual code event is jointly hosted by the Whangarei Racing Club and Northland Harness Racing.

Local and visiting trainers have supported the meeting on a day which promises to entertain, even though the early weather forecast is not promising.

The feature harness race is the Northland Trotting Cup which in the past has been won by some promising horses.

The Waikato training partnership of Rogerson and Blanchard have a strong hand with two runners in Dead Calm and Mach Cruiser.

Both are capable of winning.

The other major harness race is for junior drivers with the locally part-owned, and Tony Herlihy-trained pacer Distant Drum a big hope.

Distant Drum will be driven by stable reinsman Josh Dickie after a handy third place on the grass at Te Awamutu last Saturday.

The day is set to kick off around 11.30am at the Ruakaka Racing complex where the turf meets the surf.

- Northern Advocate

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