One of the biggest days on the Waitaki Valley calendar returns to Kurow Racecourse this month.
The Kurow Jockey Club’s annual meeting, part of the 2016-17 summer festival of racing, takes place on December 30.
The popular meet has been part of the Interislander Summer Festival for the past 11 years, and with a full day of racing action and entertainment on the cards, another strong crowd is expected this year.
Kurow Jockey Club president Simon Williamson said everything was set for the meeting.
“We’ve been working down there at the track and it looks a million dollars. It’s really impressive. The groundspeople have done a good job so far, so it should be perfect.”
He said many top trainers were on the lookout for meetings over the holiday period and strong fields were expected in each of the eight races on the card.
“There have been a few race meetings called off during the season and there seems to be a number of horses wanting a start at this time of year, when there seems to be a lot of meetings about.”
The feature race on the programme is the $25,000 Kurow Cup over 1400m.
Last year, jockey Chris Johnson guided Meursault across the finish line ahead of Coup Darci Be, with Parvesh Shaikh on board, followed by Keepa Tramp, ridden by Doni Prastiyou.
Mr Williamson said a bumper crowd of between 4000 and 5000 was expected, as long as the weather played its part.
“You definitely have a great day out. You get to catch up with everyone and there’s lots of entertainment for the kids, so that helps with the crowds too.”
Entertainment for children includes colouring-in competitions, face painting, sack races, a tug-of-war, a visit from Hopples or Stirrup (the summer festival’s mascots), goodie bags for children to take home, and pin the tail on the horse.
There will also be live music.
The Oamaru Mail has a family pass to the Kurow races and a full-size picnic blanket to give away, courtesy of The Races. To enter the draw, email firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday, December 21. The prize will have to be collected at the Oamaru Mail office, 59 Thames St, on December 22 or 23.