Big turnout expected at races

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All trotting fans will head to Central Otago in January and the good thing is they should have no trouble placing a bet.

The Central Otago Trotting Club meeting at Omakau on January 2 will be followed by the Roxburgh meeting on January 4 and then the Wyndham meeting at the Cromwell course on January 6.

The meetings have become a fixture in the summer in Central Otago.

The Omakau meeting always draws in a big crowd and though the course only now holds one meeting a year, it is one of the biggest harness meetings in the whole country.

In both course attendance and on-course betting, only the two main NZ Cup meetings at Addington in November, the Harness Jewels and Kaikoura, are bigger.

Central Otago Trotting Club president Graham Sinnamon said he was hoping for a big turnout for what is fast becoming one of the biggest events in Central Otago over summer.

‘‘With more domestic tourists around this summer and hopefully a good day, it is shaping up to be a big crowd,’’ Sinnamon said.

There will be plenty to eat and drink.

‘‘The days of offering hot dogs and chips and a keg of beer are long gone.

We have it all catered for, and for some of the groups which do the food — it is their biggest day of the year.’’

Changes by the TAB have brought in automated self service betting machines on many courses which have not always gone down well and will be hard work for an inexperienced punter.

But all three clubs will have serviced betting windows where people can go up and place a bet with an operator.

The Roxburgh meeting takes place at the Roxburgh Racecourse on a dedicated trotting track.

The highlight of the day is the Roxburgh Cup, which was won last year by Enchantee.

The fashion in the field competition is always ahighlight with this year’s theme being: Beautiful With Beads.

All three meetings will have plenty of children’s entertainment up for grabs.

The Wyndham meeting at Cromwell is highlighted by the Cromwell Cup and the Cromwell and District Businesses Cup.

Cromwell will also be the scene of a fashion in the field competition.

Fashion In The Field will contain the usual categories along with a best fascinator grade.

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