The Cancer Society is hopeful Hawke's Bay will have contributed a record $150,000-plus by the time the annual Daffodil Day appeal winds up on Friday and Saturday.
Bringing the appeal to a climax are street collections across the country on Friday, in which at least 500 volunteers (more than 400 in Napier and Hastings) will man more than 100 sites from 9am, and the sixth annual Daffodil Day raceday at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday.
The races launch the Group 1 calendar of premier events for the 2019-2020 racing season in New Zealand, with the appearance of some of the country's top hopes for multimillion-dollar races in Australia such as the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup in October and November.
Other significant events in the last week of the appeal in Hawke's Bay included Wednesday's sheep sale in the Hastings stockyards, where about $4500 was raised in two days of sales and donations. And an ANZ quiz night and auction at Taradale RSA on Wednesday night raised about $4500.
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Cancer Society acting centre manager Chris Franklyn said the sheep sale highlighted the support for the cause, with livestock agencies Redshaw, Carrfields and PGG Wrightson dropping the competitive nature of the business to unite in the common interest, along with carriers Farmers Transport, Ben Allen Transport, Stephenson Transport and Foley's Transport carting stock to help insure the days' success.
Today he got into the swing with deliveries of daffodils to Gladys Mary Resthome in Tamatea.
Franklyn said with fine days forecast for the street appeal and raceday he was hopeful last year's Hawke's Bay regional contribution of about $147,000 would be passed.
The races, with the $5 entry becoming a donation to the appeal, could contribute about $30,000. Gates at the Hastings racecourse open at 10.30am, with the first race at 11.43am.
But most eyes, and ears will be on the El Roca Colin Meads Trophy race for 3-year-olds starting at 2pm and commentated by TV voices-of-rugby and cricket Grant Nisbett and Ian Smith, and the Tarzino Trophy starting at 4.20pm.
The goal-kicking star of the All Blacks' 2011 Rugby World Cup final win, Stephen "Beaver" Donald, will be a special guest, with another star coming also from Waikato being 8-year-old trophy-race favourite Endless Drama, winner of the revered Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa in its last start, third in the rich Stradbroke Handicap on Queensland track Eagle Farm in June, and trained at Cambridge by Tony Pike.
The trophy race is the first of the big ones in Hawke's Bay's three-day Spring Racing Carnival, continuing on September 21 and ending on October 5.