The local thoroughbred racing fraternity is saddened by the passing of David Reid just before Christmas. David was a very keen race-goer, punter, horse owner and dedicated Whangārei Racing Club member.
Since joining the Whangārei Racing Club in July 1983, David had been committed to the betterment of racing in the region and held the responsibilities of club president from 1996 to 2002 and patron from 2018. One of his innovations was the successful Punters' Club competition held each May.
No doubt the idea was developed in the Judge House of Ale where he has spent many hours discussing the racing industry, the next winner and the next horse to be in.
Usually part of that group of friends listening had enjoyed great success with the top-class stayer Upsetthym, including starts in the 2004 Caulfield and Melbourne Cup.
The Whangārei quintet, who were part of a 13-strong owners' syndicate of six-year-old Auckland Cup winning mare Upsetthym, included John Fairley, Grant Adams, David Reid, Gary Boucher and Wac Jones, all connected with the Whangārei Racing Club.
Overall the mare won $460,000, including placings in both the Brisbane and Doomben Cup.
I am sure that trip to Melbourne for those Northland identities for those two iconic races will be part of the reminiscing following the funeral on Monday (January 6) in Whangārei.
The Whangārei Racing Club honours the late David Reid's contribution to the local racing community by naming the second race tomorrow as the "Vale David Reid" maiden over 1600 metres at the Interislander Summer Festival meeting.
The local Ruakākā stables of Rae Racing, of whom David was a good client, would be keen to win the race with On The Rivet who made up good ground last start.
However, the logical favourite will be Coruba Jak who was most unlucky in the same race over 1600m on December 17 at Ruakākā.
The Interislander Summer Festival meeting is always a great fun family occasion and attracts many of the families holidaying around Bream Bay.
The racecourse beach is manned by Ruakākā surf lifesavers from 1-3pm so that a swim can be included in the day's outing. On the track, the race fields are small but it is harder to fit in all the kids who want to front up to the sprint race on the track.
A most unique trophy is won with the Whangaripo Valley Free Range Cup race. This perpetual trophy, in the shape of a chicken, will be presented after race six.
Only a small field over 2100m will contest the event with the Chris Gibbs/Michelle Bradley team dominating with three runners. Roc Wheeler is likely to be their more favoured runner, who will appreciate the summer ground and is ready for the step up to 2100m.