The sun is shining, bubbles are flowing and the outfits are on point.

Today the Herald's Boxing Day races at Ellerslie is kicking off what's tipped to be Auckland's biggest ever racing season.

Clouds cleared this morning to make way for a sunny day with only a smattering of cloud providing cover. Revellers can expect temperatures to hit a high of 21C as the day heats up.

Several groups picnicking on the field are remembering to slop on sunscreen but already a few red shoulders can be spied among the crowd.

Advertisement
Racegoers at the Boxing Day Races, Ellerslie. Photo / David Rowland / www.photosport.nz
Racegoers at the Boxing Day Races, Ellerslie. Photo / David Rowland / www.photosport.nz

A bartender in the pavilion;s cash-only bar reckons he's sold hundreds if not thousands of beers since the gates opened at ten this morning.

However the crowds behaviour is still mellow and plenty of kids are here with their families.

People were crowd the fences on either side of the track shortly before 2pm as the third race gets underway.

Two more race days will be held on December 29 and January 1.

Held annually for more than 150 years, the Christmas Carnival races are a chance for Kiwis to let their hair down and have a flutter.

For those who love dressing up Fashions in the Field is an event steeped in tradition and makes The New Zealand Herald Boxing Day Races one of the most fashionable racing events in the country.

Peter Grooby, winner of last years men's Fashions in the Field category, is back to give the title another crack.

There's a few nice looking outfits so we'll see how it goes," he said.

Advertisement
Punters at the Ellerslie Boxing Day races watch and react to a race result. Photo / Nick Reed
Punters at the Ellerslie Boxing Day races watch and react to a race result. Photo / Nick Reed

Wearing a pink paisley tie, Grooby said he'd decided to go bolder this year, picking out the eye-catching accessory and building the rest of his outfit around that.

"The suit I got in Melbourne. It's a Dom Bagnato, Ted Baker shoes and some stunning Ted Baker pink socks."

Fashion in the field heats are running all afternoon and the winner will be picked this evening.