Inters for Auckland

J Scott Former News, Latest News




The 2011 Christchurch Casino Inter Dominion Championships will be run by “The Met” at Alexandra Park in Auckland on Friday March 25 March, Friday April 1, and the Grand Final Meeting on Friday April 8.

In announcing the change at midday on Wednesday March 2, NZ Metropolitan TC Chairman David Rankin advised that a key consideration for “The Met” was the safety of patrons and staff at the Addington Raceway venue in Christchurch.

“An Engineer’s report on key building structures at Addington received on  Tuesday reveals that our large Public Stand has some structural issues which cannot be addressed in the short time frame available.

“Similarly the Metropolitan Stand (Members) needs to have some glazing repairs and there is some non-structural damage to end infill panels which need to be replaced for safety reasons.

“The glazing is expected to be completed by March 25 and the infill panels can be shored up temporarily to allow use of this stand. However, we are working within a tight time frame for which the risk of completion is too great. The older Twiggers Stand and the new stables are not affected.”

“The transfer to Auckland will to a large degree mitigate our financial losses.”


Mr Rankin says the Auckland Trotting Club are not wanting to take advantage of the NZ Metro TC’s plight.

“They are allowing us to be there as a “tenant club” with no rental, and contributing other net revenues to us, as their way of supporting harness racing in Canterbury and the financial turmoil the earthquakes have created for us in Christchurch. We are gratified by their generous support,” he said.


“Harness Racing New Zealand has been hugely supportive in ensuring the Inter Dominions will be a success financially for The Met and we are extremely grateful to CEO Edward Rennell and his Board.”

“Practically, there was no other decision available to us, but nevertheless we feel strongly for the Canterbury Trainers, drivers, owners, our members and the Public who were looking forward to this event in Christchurch and gave us every encouragement to continue at all costs.”

“Also, we cannot ignore the Christchurch Community which is reeling as a result of the major Earthquake on February 22 and it seems inappropriate for us to hold a Harness Racing Carnival at a time when so many people are suffering.

“We appreciate the Minister for Civil Defence (and also Minister for Racing) John Carter and the Christchurch City Council were not prepared to direct us to not hold the event, despite the fact they doubted whether the Christchurch infrastructure could cope.”

The Met CEO, Shane Gloury said he was “absolutely gutted” he and his team could not deliver the Inter Dominions to Christchurch people and the local industry.

“Our team at ‘The Met’ have been working hard over the last two years to have the very best horses from Australia and New Zealand race in Canterbury as part of a magnificent Carnival.

“Unfortunately we are not able to showcase this product in Canterbury due to the events of the past 8 days. However we will still be able to conduct a great Carnival up in Auckland.”

Over 50% of the horses nominated for the Series are trained in Canterbury and Gloury said that he was conscious of the additional costs associated with campaigning horses in the North Island for a two week period that were not originally budgeted for.

“We are looking to ameliorating that in some way, but don’t have much in the resource department to achieve what we would like to do” he added.

“The Met has had two very tough years financially and the financial implications of the business downturn and the earthquakes have needed careful management,” said Rankin.

“We understand there are those from outside of Christchurch that would have liked to attend an Inter Dominion Series in Christchurch, but are fearful following the recent earthquakes.”

Other feature races that were due to be run as part of the Inter Dominion Carnival in Christchurch will not be transferred to Auckland but will be run in Canterbury at later dates to be announced over the next few days.

The Met will be making necessary arrangements with sponsors, supporters, tour groups, members, industry participants and others over the next few days to ensure that a successful outcome and bumper Inter Dominion Carnival is conducted in Auckland between March 25 and April 8.


(For changes released to Inter Dominion conditions, released Thurs, March 3, please refer to latest news on homepage).