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Autumn 2018


EVENT CALENDAR For more information on upcoming events and to book tickets, visit

THOROUGHBRED RACING Sunday 8th April 2018

Club Raceday Saturday 21st April 2018

Premier Raceday - featuring the G2 Manco Easter Handicap $100K, Group 2 3YO Valachi Downs Championship Stakes $100K & Listed 2YO Diamond Lodge Champagne Stakes $50K Friday 4th May 2018

Industry Raceday Saturday 26th May 2018

Feature Raceday -featuring the Listed 2YO Auckland Futurity Stakes $50K

CIRCUIT Friday 30th March - Sunday 1st April

Speedworks Championship Series

OTHER EVENTS Sunday 15th April 2018

Pukekohe Park Wedding Expo

There has been plenty of activity at Pukekohe Park since our last newsletter late last year. On the race track we have staged three successful race meetings, while the Park and the motor track have been busy in that time showcasing events, and holding weddings and other functions. For our first race meeting of the year, in January we hosted a very successful Members Lunch in the Sponsors Lounge. Around 40 members and their guests were joined by the committee and sponsors for an afternoon of good racing and camaraderie. It was great to see some familiar faces and get to know some of our newer members and on the back of that we plan to host another luncheon at our meeting on Friday May 4th. At our second meeting in early February we introduced a Members Lucky Draw, where we tried to give away two $50 betting vouchers. Every financial member of the club is in the draw, but must be on course to claim the prize. We plan to conduct two more draws at each of the remaining meetings this year. So make sure you are on course to be in to win. The heavens opened shortly before the first race of our February Family Day meeting, but we made the decision to forge ahead, moving the children’s activities and bouncy castle into the third floor of the stand. We took a risk holding the meeting but our track held up exceptionally well and we received very positive feedback from the trainers that stuck with us on the day who appreciated the fact that we had staged the meeting against the odds. The weather has caused havoc with cancellations all over the country this season, and crisis meetings have been held in the industry to offer possible solutions. Out of these meetings and along with the announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters that the industry will get an all-weather track somewhere in the future, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) are leading the development of a plan to help shape the future for New Zealand racing. This could mean a lot of changes for our club and racing in our region in the near future to ensure its survival and for the best interests of the whole industry. I will endeavour to keep you informed of progress along the way. On to more positive matters with track renovations at Ellerslie due to commence after the Auckland Cup Carnival, we are excited to be hosting two of their Saturday meetings including the Manco Easter Stakes on April 21. We plan to make the most of these extra Saturdays to show the industry we know how to host a great race day so I hope you will join us and help make it happen. In the meantime I look forward to seeing you at the track please always make yourselves known to me I would take great pleasure in meeting you all. -Steve Cole

TRACK TALK For Pukekohe Park based trainer Nigel Tiley it felt like Christmas had arrived a week late on New Year’s Day when he saddled two group winners at Ellerslie. Demonetization and Melt had both been aimed for group success on that day, and it was very satisfying for Tiley to see them fulfil their potential. MELT dashes to the line in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farms Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

Demonetization was impressive in winning the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas by one and a half lengths going away. It was the third win for the All Too Hard colt, from only four starts and prior to his Guineas win he had run third in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial. Unfortunately for the Balia Family who race the colt and the team at Tiley’s stable Demonetization sustained an injury in January and that was the end of his Derby campaign, however with plenty of care and attention he will be back racing again next season. Tiley’s second group winner Melt scorched her opposition in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes beating subsequent group three winner Bit Lippy by three-quarters of a length with a further three quarters of a length back to the third runner She’s A Thief.

Alysha Collett scored a double on New Years Day at Ellerslie aboard DIESEL (pictured) and DAYTONA RED.

That was two from two for Melt and her owner CRC member Andrew Fowler, and following that win she had a short break before striking a firm track in the group one Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie, but she will press on to the Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes at Awapuni. Before being transferred permanently to the South Island, Excelleration gave Tiley his third stakes winner for the month, when she won the listed Gore Guineas. She went on to win the Dunedin Guineas for her new trainers Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong. Tiley also recorded wins over the past couple of months with The Justice League at Ellerslie, Macdanife at Trentham and Brighton at our January Counties meeting, where The Justice League gave him the quinella. Time Lord a promising youngster from the Collett stable ran a solid third in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas at the beginning of February, however he seemed to find the extra 400 metres of the Vodafone New Zealand Derby a step too far.

DEMONETIZATION takes out the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas on New Year’s Day.

Collett has another promising three-year-old in his stable in Azaboy, but unfortunately the Derby has come around a bit soon for him. By Azamour he is raced by his breeders Warren Gatland, Terry Shaw and Henry Wilcox, and scored a decisive win at the Family Day race meeting on February 11. Naturally for that win he was ridden by Collett’s daughter Alysha who rode a double on the day, just one of many she has achieved over the past few months racing nationwide. She is currently in fourth place on the National Jockeys’ Premiership. Over the summer Sam Spratt scored a very popular win in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile on Stolen Dance. If ever a mare deserved a group one win it’s her, she has raced consistently in quality fields and been group one placed on many occasions. She has achieved success at group two and three level and in all won 10 races. Stolen Dance is owned by club stalwart Gerald Shand, and now she is safely in foal and has since been retired.

BRIGHTON cruised to an easy win beating his stablemate The Justice League, at Pukekohe Park on

COMING UP The Gr.2 Manco Easter Handicap is a time honoured mile race that has been run at the Auckland Racing Club for over 140 years. This year due to track management work at Ellerslie it will be run at Pukekohe Park on April 21, along with the Gr.2 Championship Stakes for three-year-olds over 2100 metres and the listed Champagne Stakes for two-year-olds over 1600 metres. The team at Counties Racing are always keen to have extra race days especially Saturdays and this day now gives the club a chance to showcase to the industry that they can hold successful and worthwhile Saturday meetings with plenty of support from their members and the local community. But to do this we need the support of you our members, so please mark the date in your diary and invite your friends along to witness the top quality racing on our great race course. Fleur and the team in the Function Centre will be putting together hospitality packages for the day and we will keep you posted on these over the next few weeks. In the meantime keep an eye on our website for more details.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Paxton Conder will be joining Pukekohe Park as Sponsorship and Marketing Manager on 9th April. Since graduating from Waikato University in 2015 with a Business Management Studies degree (majoring in HR, marketing and hospitality) Paxton has been working as a Media Sales Consultant for Fairfax Media. Paxton describes herself as a “born and bred country girl with extensive equine knowledge owning and riding horses from a very young age”. Paxton is replacing Natalie Jamieson. We would like to thank Natalie for her work and efforts during her time at Pukekohe Park. While Natalie has moved on from Pukekohe Park she is thankfully not lost to the industry as she is now working for NZ Bloodstock. We wish Natalie all the best.









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DIRECTORS Clyde Buckingham, Brian Collins, Shane McAlister, Tim Montgomery, Michael Rogers, Dave Sutton Horsepower took on a whole new meaning at Pukekohe Park when the Rebel Round Up Hot Rod, Vintage , Rockabilly Festival rolled into town over the weekend of 17/18 Feb in the form of hundreds of New Zealand’s top traditional hot rods and pre 1970s custom cars bringing with it a bevy of vintage inspired ladies dressed to impress . For the previous two years Rebel Round Up has been held at the Rotorua race track but the decision to take the festival to the next level made Pukekohe Park an obvious choice of venue. The weather gods supplied the sunshine and the crowds loved the shade and picturesque setting of the park. By Friday afternoon people from all over the country had begun arriving and filling the campground with a large contingent of South Islanders making the long trip north to be part of the weekends festivities There was plenty to see and do with nine bands playing throughout the weekend in the parks revamped rustic garden bar, vintage markets were set up in and around the grandstand and function lounges, selling everything from vintage shoes, dresses and handbags through to antique automotive signage and everything in between. Beautifully restored retro caravans dating back to the 1950s sat gleaming in the sun while what is thought to be one of New Zealand’s largest gatherings of traditional hot rods rumbled into the display area rivalling any overseas event. The Miss Rebel Round Up and Miss Rockabilly NZ pageants provided even more entertainment for the ladies while the guys enjoyed watching the historic motorsport action on the track that left everyone cheering for more. The live demonstrations of historic gasser drag cars were one of the highlights and lit up Facebook pages from as far away as the United States. Although Sunday was a little quieter due to some entrants having a very long drive ahead of them to get home, Saturday’s action more than made up for it. If the initial public reaction and online feedback from the thousands of visitors who came along is anything to go by, Rebel Round Up has hit a home run by relocating to Pukekohe Park so watch this space and be sure to get along to see what all the fuss is about next February when it’ll be back even bigger and better.

RACEDAY STEWARDS John Bennett, Barrie Duckworth, Heather McGuire, Bob Tangaroa







ASSIST. TRACK MANAGERS Clive Bennett & Emery White

COURSE STAFF Peter Barns-Graham, Ray Cowsill, Peter Fearon, Steve Goodin, Rex Oliver, Ian Schofield, Patrick Tutt



POWERED BY P: 09 238 8049 | E: 222-250 Manukau Rd, Pukekohe, Auckland Quarterly Quarterly Newsletter Newsletter | December | October 2016

Autumn Newsletter