The popular 10th DEC SKYCITY Hamilton Waikato Cup and 17th DEC Te Rapa Christmas at the Races Hospitality packages are now on sale. With $15 early bird General Admission for the regions biggest Christmas party, the SKYCITY Hamilton Waikato Cup is sure to be a sell out. Check out all the event details or contact us for further information.
The Waikato Racing Club is the host club conducting 16 licences of the 19 race days held annually at Te Rapa Racecourse, Hamilton. The racetrack has been upgraded in recent times and provides an excellent surface all year round. More recently the club has undertaken work on a training and trials track which is expected to be in operation in early 2016. With a healthy membership and support from long term sponsors the Club continues to grow and develop, if you are interested in becoming a Member or Sponsor of the club please find further information below or contact us today!
2016 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate supporting Daffodil Day
Waikato RC @ te Rapa
Te Rapa Race Meeting
Waikato RC @ te Rapa
See the full list of Race Meetings.
What was once the hub for horse lovers taking a punt to win the big bucks at Hamilton's racecourse will be burnt to the ground this week.
Weather permitting, the former Totalisator building on the racecourse grounds at Te Rapa will go up in smoke in a training exercise for Hamilton's fire crews tomorrow.
Built in the 1940s, the building, which is in near original condition, was once used by up to 15,000 people at any given race meet.
In its 1970s heyday, punters would finger pick their horses at the front, while the lucky ones collected their winnings at the back.
But in recent years, as the racing industry faces a decline in attendance, the building has sat empty.
Waikato Racing Club general manager Ken Rutherford said the club explored all options including removal and sale of the building, now worth nothing but the land it's on.
"It hasn't been in operation for about 20 years," Rutherford said.
"We're looking to redevelop that area out the back and add value going forward - to liven it up . . . at the end of the day, that land has negligible value with the building on top."
The building was offered to Hamilton's fire crews as a live training exercise - the first opportunity of its kind in Hamilton City.
Expect to see a stream of thick smoke on Thursday as it goes up in flames, fire crews warn.
Pukete brigade station officer Shane Thompson said the boomerang-shaped building will be burnt down in two parts.
Fire crews will light a series of small fires inside the building and observe how they burn.
"We normally turn up and need to put the fire out as soon as possible, whereas using buildings, we can sit and observe the fire, practise the latest extinguishing techniques."
"We do use buildings for live fire training but we haven't had any opportunities like this for a long time."
This was an invaluable experience for fire crews to observe fire phenomena such as flashovers and backdraughts, he said.
Safety instructors with a hose will be inside, on hand, at all times.
"Conditions inside the fire cell will be as close to real life as can be expected, with firefighters exposed to high heat and low visibility conditions."
Crews from Hamilton's central, Pukete and Chartwell brigades will practise fire control and extinguishing techniques, forced entry and search and rescue.
After training is complete, Thompson said the remaining building will be left to burn to the ground.
"In the morning you will see small amounts of smoke but in the afternoon, from 2.30-5pm, when the building is let go, then there will be significant smoke."
Businesses and home owners in the immediate area have been notified, Thompson said, and wind direction and smoke conditions will be monitored throughout.
He urged people not to come to watch as access to the racecourse will be restricted.
About 16 firefighters will be involved in Thursday's exercise, along with Hamilton City Council's building unit staff.
The 2016-17 racing calendar has been released, with Waikato Racing Club getting 17 meetings - 12 of which will be Saturday meetings.
Waikato Racing Club will have two Premier race-days, 12 Feature days and the rest will be Industry days.
The Te Rapa track will have at least a meeting in each month, including Cambridge Jockey Club's April meeting.
Next season, Cambridge Jockey Club has transferred their November meeting, usually here at Te Rapa, to their own track.
There are 309 race-meetings planned for next year on 52 tracks throughout the country. Te Rapa will be the third busiest racetrack in the country, just behind Riccarton and Ellerslie.
There are 61 racing club's in this country, with half having less than two race-meetings. There are 23 race clubs having only one race-day, and another 8 with two race-days.
Wellington Racing Club is the only club to have all their race-meetings (11) scheduled on a Saturday.
NZTR have cut sixteen race meetings for next season, with seven meetings from the South Island, five from the central districts and four from the northern region's programme.
"That is in line with the Strategic Plan released by the board in August of last year," said New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's general manager of racing and handicapping, Matthew Hall.
"We have to cater for the horse population and maintain average field sizes and also provide a better platform for distribution of prize-money.
"A minimum of $20,000, outside of maidens, for feature days is made possible by fewer races."
"We are the first to acknowledge that the average field sizes in the south have been terrific in the last 12 months and we will continue to monitor that," Hall said.
"We think the northern region in winter was over-catered for and, again, we will continue to look at that.
"There has been a two to four percent reduction in the foal crop and by taking meetings out now there will hopefully be a three to five-year correction time to address some of the funding challenges and increases across all levels.
"We need to maintain field sizes and what I am stressing to all clubs is that there is no desire from us to make further dramatic reductions in meetings for the next two or three years."
As the 2015-16 season closes we look back at the feature races here at Te Rapa for the past season.
New Zealand featured prominently in Hong Kong's 2015-16 racing season that came to a close in the past month.
Werther won the Horse Of the Year title, Champion Middle Distance horse and Most Popular Horse at the annual Hong Kong Champion Awards held this month.
The Tavistock four-year-old gelding won the2016 Derby and QE II Cup and won just over HK$29 million in prizemoney for the season.
The 11-time champion New Zealand trainer Paul O'Sullivan's recorded his personal best in Hong Kong with 50 wins, placing him equal fourth on the premiership - 18 behind John Size.
O'Sullivan's stable star and NZ-bred Aerovelocity earned over HK$48.5 million (NZ$8.8 million). The Windsor Park Stud bred gelding was brilliant in the Centenary Sprint Cup, but colic ruled him out of a chance to retain his Takamatsunomiya Kinen title in Japan.
The incumbent Champion Sprinter, Aerovelocity, was edged out for the season's top award by Peniaphobia's after he won the Hong Kong Sprint.
Former New Plymouth apprentice, Kei Chiong Ka-kei, was Hong Kong's inspired story of the season.
As Hong Kong's first female apprentice in 15 years, she took 25 mounts to ride her first winner. She clipped heels and fell on Hong Kong's international day, suffering two broken fingers. During her time away, Choing learnt how to use the stick in her left hand and remarkably turned her season around.
Before the fall, Chiong's strike rate was below 3%, just two from 72. After her return in February she rode 35 winners for a strike rate around 15%, ending the season with 37 wins.
Choing was awarded the Tony Cruz Award, and the most popular jockey in Hong Kong.
A special mention goes to Tony McGovern. Hong Kong's starter for many years, McGovern announced his retirement.
Cardinal Sin finally broke her duck for Te Rapa trainer Stephen Ralph after she claimed the $7,000 Matamata Function Centre @ the Racecourse, a maiden event over 2000m at Matamata yesterday.
After a promising debut run for sixth this time last year, Ralph immediately spelled the Keeper filly. Returning to the track at the end of last year, the four-year-old has raced consistently on 16 occasions, placing often not far from the winner - recording five minor placings.
Ralph has adjusted Cardinal Sin's gear in recent starts, and yesterday with blinkers applied for the first time, she proved too strong.
Ridden by promising apprentice Ryan Elliott, the pair jumping from barrier six of 11 starters settled outside the leader Daniece (U.Holmquist) throughout the 2000 metre event. The two leaders cleared away from the rest of the field but half-way down the straight Cardinal Sin pulled away to score by three-and-a-half lengths to Daniece in second. Boston Havoc (D.Prastiyou) battled on 1 1/4 lengths back in third. The winning time was 2min 19.00 seconds in the Heavy11 going.
Mr M & C Stevenson purchased the daughter of Keeper at the 2013 Karaka Select Sale for $30,000.
Yesterday's win was her first from 17 starts and with five minor placings has won just short of $10,000 in prizemoney.