Can't handle the booze then don't bother to turn up at the New Year's Day race meeting today in Hastings.

That's the message from Hawke's Bay Racing general manager Jason Fleming before the eight-race Russell Roads Hastings of City meeting, which is part of the industry's Interislander Summer Festival - Family Fun at the Races.

"We'll have zero tolerance for the idiots," says Fleming who is anticipating between 5000 to 6000 racegoers at the Hawke's Bay Racing Centre's racecourse.

Security will be beefed up and officers will conduct bag searches to ensure patrons don't try to smuggle in copious amounts of alcohol.


Fleming says family and alcohol-free zones will be designated to ensure racegoers aren't robbed of a good day out.

"We'll also have a play area for kids."

Adults will be charged $15, but children under the age of 18 will be allowed in free.

The regular caterers, bar the pizza maker and a few minor ones, will be selling food at the racecourse.

Fleming says the ones unavailable have opted to go to the Rhythm and Vines musical concert in Gisborne, but that will not affect the race meeting.

Liquor and soft drinks will be sold at the bars on the premises.

The Bay, he says, is blessed with balmy days throughout the Christmas holidays.

"We're expecting a great Hawke's Bay day that'll be sunny and very warm."


The forecast is for 24C with 1.1mm of rain to have fallen at 2am before clearing to a fine day with a southerly change.

Fleming says it's not nice if it gets too hot so, hopefully, cloud cover should offer some respite and it won't be too windy.

"It's very much a family day so people can bring along plenty of sunscreen and their own shelter."

He says the gates will open to patrons at 10.30am so it'll offer them ample time to set up things, such as gazebos, before the first race starts at 12.48pm.

The Sue Thompson-Brown and Mick Brown-trained Designated Driver, Fleming says, is among the favourites to win the feature race at 2.48pm.

Several Bay trainers' horses are in today's other races.