Family days out don’t get much better than Christmas at the Races, Oamaru Harness Racing Club president Dave Heffernan says.
The club’s biggest meet of the year takes place at Oamaru Racecourse tomorrow and, given the quality of the field and the entertainment on offer, promises to be one not to miss.
Heffernan said a large crowd was expected in the corporate area, where 290 seats had been sold, and he hoped that would be the case in other viewing areas at the family-friendly event.
‘‘Why would you not come if it’s free? It’s a great day for parents to bring their kids along and let their kids run riot.
‘‘What we are trying to encourage is . .. come after the Santa Parade and have a couple of hours’ free play. It’s a good way for us to connect with North Otago.’’
Many of the rides on offer at the North Otago A&P Show would be up and running, including inflatables, jeep rides and the merry-go-round. Santa would also make an appearance.
For the adults, it would be all about the racing.
Ten races on the grass track make up the programme and races five through eight will have points on offer to crown the Family Feud Invited Drivers Competition champions, formerly the Brothers in Arms drivers series.
Jay and Sailesh Abernethy, Zachary and Benjamin Butcher, Gerard and Leo O’Reilly, Matt and Brad Williamson, Sheree and Kerryn Tomlinson, and Craig and Chris Thornley will all vie for the title.
As in the past, the meet had attracted a strong field of horses and drivers, Heffernan said.
‘‘There is only two lighter fields . . .That’s just more around the numbers available in the horse population at the moment.
‘‘The track is really good. It’s got a good sole of grass on it. The gallopers raced on a heavy 10 [track] in October, but it’s been fixed upand we are off the line that the gallopers used.’’
The popular Fashion in the Field competition will also return, he said.
Race one is set to start at 12.12pm.