`On track’ for a good Cup day


The Waimate Trotting Club’s annual meeting will again be held in Oamaru on Sunday, two and a-half years after a storm wreaked havoc at the club’s home track.
In September 2013, strong winds ripped the roofs from both grandstands, while the track’s swab box and stalls were destroyed. Some open stalls were damaged.
Since then, the club’s race meetings have been held at Oamaru Racecourse.
Waimate Trotting Club president Lex Williams said Sunday’s programme would be a full one. The feature race was race eight _ the Waimate Cup.
“Everything’s on track for a good day. We’re expecting big nominations and there should be full fields on the grass. We’re hoping for a nice, sunny day.”He said the punter’s club would be operating, while a $100 supermarket voucher would be handed out to one punter with a losing ticket.
Meanwhile, rebuilding has begun at Waimate Racecourse.
Mr Williams said two buildings had been moved from the now-closed Enfield School, which were being converted into an administration area and changing rooms for jockeys and drivers.
A tower would then be constructed for race commentators and analysis of photo finishes.
He said time was not an issue as the club only held one meeting a year.
“We’ve got 12 months now for us to be up and running for the next season.”He said the grandstands would be demolished and a cafe area would be built if funding permitted.
The cost of reconstruction, which Mr Williams said would be between $370,000 and $380,000, is covered by insurance and a grant from the Lions Foundation.
He said he was keen to see racing return to Waimate as soon as possible.
“We’re really excited about going back there. It’s just not the same when you’re going through a different track. A lot of sponsors are more likely to sponsor us when we’re at our own track.”
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