When you speak to local ex jockey Kim Taylor about the Stratford New Years Eve race day and why it's one of her favourite days of the year it's the enthusiasm in her voice that makes you appreciate how enjoyable a day it is for locals.

"It's a really important part of the Stratford holiday calendar, and one the entire town really gets behind," said Taylor. "The weather is usually good, families are out on the lawn enjoying themselves, you often get to the chance to catch up with people who have moved away from the area but return for the raceday and everyone is in that festive mood as well. Just a wonderful day!"

Kim should know a thing or two about race days at Stratford as she has ridden at a few of the local meetings over the years.

"I can remember the first winner I rode at Stratford a horse called Sheer Luck trained by local Stratford trainer Warren Dymond. I think he won by three or four lengths. He was a neat horse and I won three in a row on him and never finished further back than third on him in six starts."


When asked if Khopromise (Kim won the Group 3 Taranaki Breeders on her) was the best horse she rode, Kim says no.

"It's close but I'd have to give that honour to the Jack Taylor-trained Quasin as the best horse I got to ride."

"She was tough, like real tough,"said Kim.

"Not many horses could run second in a Whyte Handicap and then three days later turn up and win the Parliamentary Handicap in the Trentham mud.

"A lot of people remember her for my ride in the Kiwifruit Cup (when Jockey Opie Bosson sat up on runaway leader Watch Officer) but there was a lot more to her than that. That was just typical of her.

"She never gave up and was very resilient."

"I'm really looking forward to the Fritz Reuter Immigrants Stratford Cup this year. I rode in a few Stratford Cups, but that prize eluded me unfortunately.

"I think it should be a good field again this year, and there may even be a few local chances in the race as well.


"It's great to see the club recognise a Life Member by naming a race(Mcdonald Real Estate Holland Plate 1600) after former President Barry Holland who did a lot for the club," she said.