Betting punters and fashionistas alike are getting prepped to head to Auckland's Boxing Day Races, which are going ahead despite bouts of heavy rain this morning.

The gates for Auckland Cup meeting have opened and horse races and the Fashion in the Field event are due to begin in the next couple of hours.

Auckland Racing Club's chief executive Paul Wilcox said plans for the day were going full steam ahead and wouldn't be affected by the rain.

"We're all ready to go here, it's clearing up quite nicely," he said.


"I can even see a little bit of sun peeking through."

Wilcox said sales had been up on previous years and the rain didn't seem to have had any affect on these.

He urged those already holding tickets to not let the weather put them off.

"We can't control the weather so you just do what you can do. And we've done everything we can to help this go ahead and be a success."

"It's a great way to wipe out the Christmas lunch, with a bit of dancing."

The annual Fashion in the Fields event would go ahead as planned and ladies and gents were encouraged to pull out their glad rags despite the drizzle.

A marquee was in place where judging would take place so ladies could still wear their heels with "style and aplomb", Wilcox said.

A racing meet at Ellerslie Racecourse was cancelled in March after a period of relentless rain.


Auckland Racing Club bosses were left with little option back after relentless rain in the city from mid afternoon made the Ellerslie track unsafe to race on.

The water and mud thrown up by the horses were expected to deteriorate visibility for jockeys.

Further south, Bayleys Pirongia Boxing Day Races in Waipa have been cancelled because of the rain.

In a post on the event's Facebook page it said the cancellation was for the safety of riders, drivers and horses.

"Of course it's way less fun for everyone in rain also," the post said.

The wet weather was caused by a front moving over the North Island today.

The front would be shortlived, said Metservice meteorologist Thomas Adams, and the rain will peter out to make way for fine weather over the rest of the week.

A heavy rain watch was in place for areas like Kapiti and Wellington, though this could be upgraded to a warning later on.