Iconic Kaikoura trots could move to Addington if alert levels don’t drop

The Kaikoura Cup is on the second day of the hugely popular meeting. Photo: Harness Racing New...
The Kaikoura Cup is on the second day of the hugely popular meeting. Photo: Harness Racing New Zealand
Kaikoura’s hugely popular annual festive horse racing meeting could be moved to Addington if the Covid-19 alert levels don’t drop.

The two-day meeting – scheduled for October 31 and November 1 – usually attracts crowds in excess of 5000, many of whom travel from Christchurch.

The Kaikoura Cup on the second day of the meeting is the final lead-in race to the NZ Trotting Cup at Addington.

Of the 150 available campervan sites at Kaikoura, more than 104 had been pre-sold.

Addington Raceway confirmed it could host the meeting over one or the standard two days, but Kaikoura Trotting Club president Ben Smith is hoping the South Island drops to level 1 when the Government review is announced on Monday.

"We’ve got our toes and fingers crossed.

"It’s a great weekend for businesses in Kaikoura so it would be a loss for the community,” said Smith, who would also discuss options with Harness Racing New Zealand.

He said the club is wary of hosting the meeting under the current level 2 conditions, as it could be challenging to control access to the course, which would be closed to the general public.

"It’s all very well putting the publicity out there and people knowing its level 2 but we’ve got to make sure we can police that accurately," he said.

Addington Raceway racing industry manager Darrin Williams said he hoped an alert downgrade would enable Kaikoura to hold its meeting.

"Kaikoura’s meeting – at Kaikoura – is really important.

"It’s like this big flag that goes: ‘It’s party time’. It signals we’re in Cup Week mode,” he said.

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