Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull might not have been near a racecourse in 40 years but it did not show when he raised his hand in triumph as he sped around Forbury Park racetrack during a celebrity dual-sulky race last night.
Mr Cull, Clutha district police inspector Greg Sparrow and University of Otago Student Association president Logan Edgar went head to head in the race as part of a Neurological Foundation's Chair in Neurosurgery campaign event.
The event raised $48,159, boosting the campaign total to just under $2,885,000. The foundation is hoping to raise $3 million.
However, it was Mr Cull's horse Sonny Albert that showed it had the pace, winning by a length, closely followed by Insp Sparrow and Dexter Dunn driving Jaccka Sign. A few lengths back were Mr Edgar and Nathan Williamson driving Seldom Getit.
"It was exhilarating," Mr Cull said. "The horse was a bit frisky to start but the driver brought him back under control."
It was a nice flat ride, once around the 1200m raceway, and his driver and horse "absolutely went for it", he said.
Chair in Neurosurgery campaign project manager Irene Mosley said the dinner, races and auction all made for a "fabulous" night.
"The atmosphere has been electric. People are really enjoying themselves."