Awapuni on track for regional racing boost

Published: 9 November, 2022

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  • Manawatū/Whanganui

A new synthetic track surface at Awapuni Racecourse has set the course for a regional economic boost with a great summer of events now on the cards at the Palmerston North racing centre.

Two men wearing business suits kneel down, touching the dirt on the ground of a newly opened racecourse.

Awapuni Racing Centre Chief Executive Tim Savell, left, and Racing Minister Keiran McAnulty inspect the new artificial racetrack at Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North. Photography by Paul Maka-Kea.

"Upgrading regional and sporting facilities is an important part of supporting communities to sustain their economies and local industries The Government is pleased to have contributed $10.5 million towards this $13.5 million Awapuni synthetic track project,” says Minister for Economic and Regional Development Stuart Nash.

The Awapuni track is the third and final project completed as part of a $27.75 million trifecta of contributions from Kānoa-RDU’s Provincial Growth Fund. New tracks at Cambridge and Riccarton have already been completed, receiving positive feedback from local trainers.

Minister for Racing Kieran McAnulty, who opened the track, says Awapuni is an important centre for racing with many breeders and trainers located in the region.

“Awapuni has a proud racing heritage of over a century of premier racing and is home to the Marton, Rangitīkei, Feilding and Manawatū racing clubs.

“This new synthetic track will be less impacted by weather and so will give racing clubs more certainty when planning race days, and safer conditions for horses and riders.

“This investment will create a leading racing venue that will set up the local racing community for decades to come.

“The new tracks in Waikato and Canterbury are already proving their worth. Now it’s time for Central Districts’ racing enthusiasts, trainers, breeders, and racehorses to experience the difference in their own backyard,” said Kieran McAnulty.