With 120 sponsors given VIP treatment and a large walk-in crowd — so large the Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club sold all its 350 racebooks — a sunny day and a good track with healthy fields for its eight races, the Farmer's Day April 18 meeting was a real success.
There was plenty of grass on the track officially classed "a dead four" meaning it did not favour the light or heavy track lovers.
No race had less than 10 in the field with several up in the mid-teens, an indication trainers like to come to Woodville, especially to give their hopefuls a run.
In Race One Shane Brown's steeplechaser Chocolate Fish raced to a midfield placing. Steeplechaser Tell Me More won making Chaser Fox Syndicate part-owners Paul and Annette Burroughs happy.
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It had run second two weeks before and Paul says being in a syndicate with four trotters, six gallopers (mostly steeple chasers), six racing pigeons and a greyhound means there is something to look forward to every week.
Iane Symes, part owner of Yes Boy which won the third race, said this was his second visit to Woodville since coming as a nine year old. His horse won the first visit too.
While the sponsors were feted in the upper deck, out on the grass the children had lots of races including three-legged, sack and Easter egg and spoon which entertained them while punters registered their bets.
There were plenty of quality horses with all the favourite jockeys in attendance but as with the early start to the season there were a few surprises at the tote.
Woodville and Pahiatua Racing Club is investing in its future hopeful that its closure scheduled for several years ahead may not occur. Secretary Paula McCool says it is spending $10,000 on a new stables roof for visiting horses and trainers and is about to take ownership of new 10-horse starting gates suitable for jump practices.
The club hopes this will attract interest when they are used on May 10, the day after the next regular meeting on May 9.