It was once again a perfect day for racing at Woodville on May 9 — the day warm, calm and sunny, the track a dead 4, huge fields and a great crowd.
Nine races were virtually full, the smallest field being 13 with the largest 20, although four were scratched. Organisers said it proved Woodville had the facilities, track, organisation and promotion to compete with the best courses, even on a Thursday.
The crowd was close to 300, bolstered by the annual visit of Property Brokers who brought 70 members of the Chairman's Club — real estate agents who had done well in the year.
Managing Director Tim Mordaunt said it was a great chance to reward his team, a good opportunity to have agents from all over the southern North Island meet each other again and a chance to support a worthy local racing club.
Property Brokers sponsored race five, won by Standing Tall, and also restored an old race course tradition of rewarding a strapper who had turned out the horse judged best groomed by Jude Challies — local sales specialist. Marnie Purser of Palmerston North received a heavy weather coat and hat from sponsor Farmlands Pahiatua, saying she had never won anything like it over her eight years in the industry.
Paul McGlade of Taumaranui was also thrilled to have Piriaka win the fourth race the Merrylees Hotel 1200. The horse has excellent breeding, a three-year-old sired by Tartan Bearer the mare Jungletime bought in foal from the Karaka Horse Sales for $3600. After five races the worst it has come is fourth.
It is co-owned by the Taumaranui Racing Club which has a 1000 members and one of them jokingly said he has already booked his flight to Melbourne for the cup in two years' time.