The West Coast summer horse racing circuit begins on Boxing Day with the start of the Westport two-day Harness meeting and ends in mid January with the gallops meetings. Some people are more interested in the harness races than in the gallops and vice versa. When it comes to selecting winners at either codes, it is important to keep a cool head and not allow emotion to enter into your calculations and most importantly do not get greedy. By this I mean do not get enticed into taking multiple bets such as Trifectas, First Fours, Quaddies, etc.
The Westport Cup is the main race on the first day of the circuit which kicks off on Boxing Day. It is usually won by a very good horse but not always as the odd year process a surprise result. The form from the race is worth following. By that I mean the first three home in the Westport Cup usually feature among the placings on the second day at Westport and on Reefton Cup day on the 30th of December. Harness racing provides plenty of entertainment and the opportunity for profit if you manage to find a few winners. Keep in mind that the more favoured contenders win most of the races.
The thoroughbred section of the circuit begins on the 7th January with the Greymouth Jockey Club’s meeting at Omoto. The Greymouth Cup is the day’s feature. The Kevin Myers stable tends to have a good run of success at Omoto.
Next is the Westland Racing Club’s meeting at Hokitika on 10th January with the day’s feature being the Miss Scenicland Stakes which is a weight-for-age race for fillies and mares.
The iconic Kumara Racing Club’s meeting is held 13 January. This meeting attracts a large gathering of race goers from all the South Island and some from the North Island. For many this is the only race meeting they attend per year. The Kumara Gold Nuggets Handicap is the day’s feature. This race has been won by some very good horses in recent years including Titch who later won the Auckland cup.
The last meeting on the circuit is the Reefton Jockey Club’s meeting on the 16th January with the main race being the Reefton Cup. The Reefton meeting is usually the first on the gallops circuit but the dates have been changed for 2018.
It is also important to note that the dates listed here for the thorougbred circuit are for 2018 and change every year.