-- APRIL NEWSLETTER 2019 --
EVENT CALENDAR For more information on upcoming events visit www.PukekohePark.co.nz
THOROUGHBRED RACING End Your Week at the Races Friday 3 May 2019 Industry Raceday Thursday 23 May 2019 Lindauer Ladies Day Races Thursday 20 June 2019
CIRCUIT Open Test Days Saturday 27 April, Saturday 18 May, Saturday 8 June 2019 North Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club 9 - 12 May 2019
FROM THE CHAIRMAN - Steve Cole
There can be no doubt that the best of the 2019 summer is behind us with our recent Sunday April meeting perhaps signifying that. If so it was a great day enjoyed by many of you and for me one of special enjoyment when “Wekaforce” a filly in whom my wife Michelle and I have a racing interest in gave a wonderful sight in winning an intermediate grade 1200 metre sprint in grand style. Our industry continues to await progress in the Messara Review with our club supportive of the changes recommended which includes a review of Northern Racing in relation to clubs ‘working together’ going forward. With change comes progress and being all keen supporters of the thoroughbred racing industry we must support forward thinking views and not live in the past. Your board continues to work on the pursuance of rezoning the land adjacent to the Float Access Road. Certainly “time” is a good friend to “Counties” in this regard with the demand for commercial land ever growing in our town. Final submissions involving subdivision into four commercial zoned lots will be presented to Council in May by our contracted consultants. That will involve possibly a six month process and if successful your committee would engage in further discussions with all members on the way forward as regards a nominal sale or a design and build project. With the input of the new board members Mark Chitty, John Crawford, Nigel Tiley, Barrie Duckworth and Bob Price your board has blended well and committee meetings have been constructive and are enabling your Club to decisively deal with matters before it, which have been many and verified. We welcome all members on our race days and to encourage members further to attend and put a bit more turnover through our tote, the committee has supported the increase in the “members draw” punting fund to $100 each race day and further than that this sum will jackpot if the drawn member is not present to a total of $1000 at which stage it must be won and the draw will continue until a member who is “on course” wins. Remember racing is a “betting medium’ and our industry funding is partially determined by race day tote turnover so every bet through the tote system on race days certainly helps, but more than that it is always great to meet and engage with all members on a vibrant race day. There continues to be much for your Board to consider to ensure our Club and the Thoroughbred Industry continues to shine and provide our enjoyment of the Thoroughbred. See you all at the next race meeting on Friday 3rd of May. Stop Press: As we go to press today, the Minister for Racing Winston Peters has finally made an announcement of the Messara Review and the findings of the Ministerial Advisory Committee(MAC). I would like to applaud the Minister on his decision to introduce the two new pieces of legislation to the Racing Act, which should give some relief and hope to our industry. You can read the ministers statement at www.dia.govt.nz/racing-review
Sunday 14 April 2019
Sunday 14th April saw over 500 brides to be flood into the third-year running wedding expo held at Pukekohe Park. The expo had people traveling from as far North as Whangarei down to the South Waikato to see a fantastic range of local exhibitors. Feedback from the attendees was very positive, with several mentioning the showcase of local vendors was going to prove extremely helpful when planning their special day. Over 50 exhibitors from around the Franklin district and afar came along to display their business to the brides, from celebrants, cakes, suits and of course gowns, attendees were really impressed at the diverse range of products and services on offer. An extra special showcase was given to Pukekohe Park and the glorious venue that we have here to host Wedding Days. The brides were impressed at what the venue had to offer for their whole wedding day experience. Attendees were very lucky to have the opportunity to win their honeymoon of 5 nights on the Gold Coast thanks to the support of Oscar On Main Beach Resort and Rachel Chalmers - Personal Travel Expert. This created great excitement for the event and certainly something we will see grow in future. A huge effort was put in from the team and a special thanks to Fleur and Kristina for all their hard work in pulling off a flawless day.
Sunday 7 April 2019
The sun was shining on Sunday 7th April ready for the bundles of families and children that arrived on course ready for an action packed family day at the races. Loads of entertainment was on offer including a bouncy castle, face painting and the very competitive tug-of-war challenge. Following this the kids had a very special visit from ‘Henry the Horse’ who was stocked with baskets of lollies and Easter eggs to give out. The feature of the day was the Lone Star Pukekohe Junior Fashion in the Field which was the first time Counties has turned their hand to junior fashion. With almost forty 12 and under children lining up in their best race day attire the competition was a huge success. Our judges, Michelle Saba & Petra McAlister, had a very tough job finding our over all winners in the sections 6 & under, 7-9yrs and 10-12yrs, as well as a judges choice in each of the categories. Live music on the public lawn contributed to the fabulous oncourse atmosphere. A different type of thoroughbred graced the course proper with the pitter patter of the Franklin Kids Kart miniature pony races. Two heats were run over 550m and were seen to be a huge thrill amongst the crowd. Overall in was a great day of racing on a lovely Autumn day, we are looking forward to our next raceday on Friday 3rd May.
CIRCUIT UPDATE PAUL FALLON | CIRCUIT MANAGER | PUKEKOHE MOTORSPORT On 1 December 2018, Pukekohe Motorsport Limited took on the lease of the motor racing circuit at Pukekohe Park and it’s been all-go since then re-thinking how we continue to meet the demands of the motorsport and motor racing industry and grow our place in the small New Zealand market. A key factor for the new management team has been to look back on the history of Pukekohe Park and reinvigorate the ‘good-old-days’ of motor racing.
Two significant features have stood out and with the recent resealing of Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4, and excitement is now building around a hopeful return of top-level motorcycling to Pukekohe and the prospect of securing the New Zealand Grand Prix.
The Pukekohe motor racing circuit was built in 1962 and opened with the 1963 New Zealand Grand Prix (NZGP) which was won by the Late Bruce McLaren. In recent years the NZGP has been held at Manfeild in Manawatu and Pukekohe has struggled to get the interest of the modern NZGP cars which are run by Toyota Racing New Zealand, primarily due to the concerns that the teams have over the surface and ride imperfections at Pukekohe, much of which has now been corrected by the recent reseal. We are excited to have confirmation of a test of an FT50 Single Seater Race Car, the type run by Toyota Racing, on Thursday 9th May, in the hope that it is a step toward pitching to host the NZGP.
The placement in 2013 of the concrete blocks and debris fencing around the entire circuit meant a significant improvement in safety for car racing at Pukekohe and was welcomed by Motorsport New Zealand and the FIA (World Governing Body of Motor Racing), however it did signal the demise of motorcycle race meetings at Pukekohe, mainly due to the proximity to the circuit of the blocks. Additionally, the motorcycle industry also had concerns over the surface imperfections and although the later has now been addressed, Pukekohe Motorsport are having positive discussions with motorcycle racing officials to see what solutions can be agreed on to bring top-level bike racing back to Pukekohe.
The recent resealing of the circuit has been a major step forward. Famed for being one of the fastest circuits in the country that requires high levels of commitment, the upgrades are signaling our plans to continue to grow motor racing at the circuit. Additionally, significant drainage upgrades have been done in the newly resealed section alleviating the flooding issue that Turn 1 has been prone to during heavy sudden downpours. We are excited to be working with Counties Racing Club and looking forward to what the future may bring with the motor racing circuit management change.
TRACK TALK Things have been ticking over at the Pukekohe Park training centre despite a decline in numbers of horses trained there. While there appears to be plenty of horses working at the track on any given morning, a large number are actually being pre-trained for other trainers at other centres and overseas. Despite that the trainers are still producing winners from the centre. The Tiley stable has to date produced 19 winners this season including three stakes wins. Since the last newsletter they picked up the Gr.2 Dunstan Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes on the Club’s premier race day in November, with Bisou Bisou. A mare by the Australian stallion Shaft, Bisou Bisou is owned by John and Di Bowbyes who also own the reigning Pukekohe Park Horse of the Year Megablast. She was recording her ninth win, when she won the Breeders’ Stakes in the hands of local senior jockey Andrew Calder. Earlier in the season Tiley unearthed a smart three-year-old gelding in Spirits Aubeer, which he raced with his wife Lee, her sister Mandy and Richard Cole and Alan Opie. In December on the back of two wins and a placing he lined him up in the Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie, and he cruised to an emphatic two and a half length win. Following that win he was sold to overseas interests. Tiley’s former apprentice and locally based rider Rowena Smyth was on board Spirits Aubeer that day and recorded her first black type victory. At the Christmas At The Races meeting in December the Tiley stables produced House of Cartier to win a maiden 1400 metre event. At her next the three-year-old daughter of Alamosa and the champion mare Shez Sinsational put up a brave performance to run second in the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, and followed that with a fourth in the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes a week later. Subsequently her owners have transferred her to the Sydney stable of John Sargent. In other news from the Tiley stable, former Otaki and more recently Byerley Park trainer Karen Zimmerman has joined the team as assistant trainer. Zimmerman herself has trained four group one winners and brings a wealth of experience to the stable. This will allow Nigel and Lee to campaign a team of horses in Queensland over the winter carnival, and no doubt they will be followed with interest. Another smart three-year-old filly to emerge from Pukekohe Park is Tiger Silk trained by Richard Collett. A daughter of the Australian based sire All American she commenced racing early in the season. She left maiden ranks at Ruakaka in late November and followed that with a win at Ellerslie in December. She failed in a listed race over Christmas on a wet track, but bounced back to win a threeyear-old race at Counties beating the subsequent Gr.3 Manawatu Classic winner The Chosen One who then went on to run fourth in the ATC Derby. Over the Auckland Cup Carnival, Tiger Silk continued to race against her age group and ran third in the Listed Mufhasa Stakes behind Qiji Express and She’s A Thief. Tiger Silk is raced by Richard and Judy Collett and long-time stable client and CRC member Joanne Sims. If a horse lines up from the Collett stable with the word Hill in its name then you can almost guarantee it belongs to Joanne. Over the years Joanne and her late husband Ian have had a lot of success from that stable with horses like Biggin Hill, Ascot Hill, and more recently, Mercy Hill who won at Counties at our April meeting. Mercy Hill also won at Ruakaka on the same day Tiger Silk did back in November and scored at Avondale at the start before her Counties win. That Counties win was the sixth for the Sims/Collett combination this season.
THE TEAM CHAIRMAN Steve Cole VICE CHAIRPERSON Anna Stove HONORARY TREASURER Shane McAlister DIRECTORS Mark Chitty, Brian Collins, John Crawford, Barrie Duckworth, Bob Price, Nigel Tiley RACEDAY STEWARDS John Bennett, Heather McGuire, Michael Rogers GENERAL MANAGER Greg Mitchell | 029 233 3052 MARKETING AND SPONSORSHIP MANAGER Paxton Conder | 029 238 8049 ADMINISTRATION Anne Pointon FUNCTION MANGER Fleur Johnston | 09 239 2080 HEAD CHEF M J Fox FUNCTION CO-ORDINATOR Kristina Salmons TRACK MANAGER Bryce Mildon | 029 285 8557 ASSIST. TRACK MANAGERS Clive Bennett & Emery White COURSE STAFF Ray Cowsill, Peter Fearon, Steve Goodin, Rex Oliver, Shaun Patterson, Ian Schofield MOTORSPORT MANAGER Paul Fallon | 021 851 711 CIRCUIT MANAGER Gary Stirling
TRACK UPDATE BRYCE MILDON | TRACK MANAGER As the fine warm weather starts to end, we are starting to prepare for the cold wet weather to arrive. The course proper has been racing well over the past few months with good feedback being received from participants. We have 3 race meetings remaining for the 2018/2019 season, the last of those to be run on June 20 (Lindauer Ladies Day). We have recently been doing some renovations work to our Number 1 grass training track which is progressing well. We have installed lateral drains and sand slitted a 50m section between the 2 crossings that has previously been very wet after rain. We have also shaved the grass down and under-sowed the entire circumference of the track and finally we have done some excavations work on both crossings of the number 1 grass to make them smoother when the horses gallop over them. These works are progressing well and make for a much-improved surface for horses. We are currently in search for a turf apprentice to join our track team, the successful person will be taught all aspects of our racing and training operations, upon the completion of the apprenticeship they will have achieved a Sports Turf qualification. Looking forward to some rainfall to help the grass grow after what has been a long dry summer!
P: 09 238 8049 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org 222-250 Manukau Rd, Pukekohe www.PukekohePark.co.nz Quarterly Newsletter | April 2019