All About New Zealand’s Auckland Cup
The first of the 2 race days to be held during the Auckland Cup Week always promises to be an absolute cracker of an event. A massive total prize pool of $1,000,000 is in store for this Group 1 event and an additional 9 races are to be held on the same day which include the Group 3 Darley Plate, Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy and the Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase to name but a few. These races attract the finest horses in New Zealand and from across the globe, and punters flock to the track to see whether they can back a winner.
The Auckland Cup brings Kiwi’s together to celebrate their national heritage and horse racing as a whole. It unites the country and it’s certainly an event that many look forward to, year after year. Held at Ellerslie, the home of thoroughbred racing in New Zealand, the event is on that shouldn’t be missed.
A Carnival Event
With so much on and off the track entertainment, its easy to see why The Auckland Cup promises to be a social event of epic proportions, as well as a sporting triumph for all those in attendance on the day. Among the events held each year are Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing of all categories and grades. The carnival atmosphere was introduced in 2006 and has been a huge hit ever since, turning a day at the races into one that’s a week long celebration, suitable for all ages. There’s plenty for adults to do, and separate kids activities are set up to ensure that everyone has a great time.
Generally speaking, the main features are the Auckland Cups for each group or code, with the main event being held the following Saturday. These races attract a huge amount of attention, and online betting sites also accept a huge number of wagers on each event.
Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day
Barfoot & Thompon is seen as the pinnacle of the Auckland Cup Week and is the main event of the day and of the entire event. It is an Open Handicapped, thoroughbred, 3200m race at Ellerside Racecourse and has a massive $500,000 prize pool. In addition to all of this, the event is also a historically rich race that was first contested way back in 1874 and is seen as a traditional event in Auckland, with many taking the opportunity to take pride in their city much like Melbourne with the Caulfield Cup betting every year in Australia.
Previous winners include last year’s 1st placer El Soldado, 2015’s Rock Diva, 2014’s comically named Who Shot Thebarman, 2013’s Sangster and Shez Sinsational to name but a few most recent worthy horses that have competed in the event’s 143-year history.
Food, Fashion and Fun
In the true spirit of horse racing, The Auckland Cup also focuses heavily on fashion and the who-who of the fashion world all try their best to look their best! Fashion plays a large role in the carnival, and its adds to the thrill of this already exciting event. The food has also become a large part of the carnival, and food trucks and stalls, hospitality tents and other dining options are all part of the attraction. The Auckland Cup is a true horse racing dream, and it’s easy to see why it has such become a highlight on the local and international racing calendar.