The pinnacle event of Auckland's racing calendar went ahead in brilliant sunshine after last weekend's washout, with one of the favourites claiming the top gong.

The Auckland Cup was won by Chenille, to the delight of the punters who backed her and the loud despair of those who backed the wrong horse.

The sun was shining and colour and glam abounded at Ellerslie, although the crowd was only a sliver of what organisers would've expected had the event gone ahead last Saturday as planned.

Prior to the big race, spectators were entertained by the Ellerslie School choir performing the national anthem, and the G.H Mumm Garden Party served up premium champagne and gourmet nibbles to racegoers.


As the after-work crowd rolled in, the numbers began to grow, with many taking advantage of the free general admission.

Punters gathered at the edge of the track for each race, cheering and clapping their chosen runners on.

The first race of the day, the Crombie Lockwood 1200m, was won by Sultan of Swing.

Chenille, trained by Tony Pike and ridden by Leith Innes, came in for the win in the $500,000 marquee Auckland Cup race, ahead of El Pistola and pre-race favourite Jacksstar.

In attendance was Barfoot & Thompson ambassador and Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, who spoke about her relationship with Wallabies rugby star Israel Folau.

She said the couple were "butting heads" over whether to be based in New Zealand or Australia.

"He's trying to get me over there, I'm trying to get him over here."

She said she was happy to enjoy the atmosphere rather than studiously follow the form of the horses.

"There's a few 'Harry Hardouts' here who are quite intimidating and scary."

Patrons were well behaved, with no boozy bad behaviour on display, despite the flowing beer and champagne.

One unfortunate spectator was unable to keep her balance on a viewing podium at the finish line, tumbling to the ground to the delight of her friends.

Lizzie L'amour took out the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, named after the legendary racehorse of the same name.

Auckland Racing Club chief executive Cameron George said he was "stoked to get better weather this time around".

"It was wonderful to see so many people coming out to celebrate the Cup and enjoy themselves, particularly families as this really is their day."

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson presented the silver trophy to Pike. The silverware was commisioned by Queen Victoria in 1889, and was gifted to the Auckland Racing Club in the 1930s.