Big crowd enjoys day of racing

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Bright weather, a big crowd and a 10-race card provided a great day out at the Oamaru Harness Racing Club’s Christmas at the Races meeting on Saturday.

Packed amongst the racing programme was entertainment with a Christmas theme including a Most Creative Hat competition, two Kids Kartz races with future harness stars in the buggies, Santa’s Reindeer Race, the Brothers-in-Arms Drivers’ presentation, plus an appearance by the jolly man in the red suit, Santa himself.

Honours for the leading driver of the day were scooped by local driver Mathew Williamson, who started his day by saluting the judge ahead of the field in races one, two and three, and followed this treble with a second placing in race five and a third in race eight.

Honours for driving successes in the other races on the card were well spread. With the track rated good and the sunshine on their backs, the horses provided a great day out for the big crowd.

Race winners on the day were: race one, Merilane; race two, Lottie Franco; race three, The Bog (all driven by Mathew Williamson); race four, Provocative Prince, with JW Cox in the sulky; race five, Barry, driven by JD Dunn; race six, Captain Peacock, driven by RW Todd; race seven, Robyn’s Raider, piloted by Nathan Williamson; race eight, Mossdale Conner, driven by GD O’Reilly; race nine, Ohoka Benson, driven by Ricky May; and race 10, I C U Darling, driven by JR Dunn with the Williamsons taking the brothers in arms race.

Oamaru/Kurow racing club secretary John Mudie said the day was a success and was pleased with the large turn-out.

“It was excellent, everything was in our favour,” he said.

“They clicked it and there 2000 (spectators) – well, 1994, I think.

“It was a really good day. We welcomed the corporate people in the marquees and they enjoyed it.”

Event organiser Scott Elliffe was also pleased with the day.

“It was a huge success. We were very fortunate with the weather and that played a part,” he said.

“(The weather) brought everyone out. We couldn’t have asked for better and everybody celebrated Christmas in style.

“The feedback’s been excellent from both the catering side of things and the racing.”

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

BIG TURN-OUT: Around 2000 people turned out for the Oamaru Harness Racing Club’s Christmas at the Races meeting on Saturday.