Boxing Day is for Racing

Caitlin O'Sullivan
21 December 2020

Sipping champagne trackside watching some of the country’s most elite thoroughbreds and jockeys whiz past you OR fighting over the final pair of shoes in your size at your local mall’s 50% off sale… We know how we’d rather spend our Boxing Day!

With racedays at Ellerslie, Awapuni and Wingatui, there’s a raceday not too far from most. Here’s your need-to-knows:

Ellerslie’s SkyCity Boxing Day Races

Not many events hang around for an excess of 160 years… Ellerslie’s Boxing Day Races have however, that is just how good they are! It’s a day for anyone and everyone. Indulge in an all-inclusive lunch and drinks package in Cuvee or kick up your heels in The Paddock or Champagne Lawn. If it’s a family day you’re after, the adequately named Infield Family Zone is the place to be. There’ll be BBQs for you to whack the Christmas leftovers on and a circus of FREE children’s entertainment, including pony rides!

Throw a Group 1 race in the mix (plus a pretty exciting undercard) and fashion in the field competition and you’ve struck the winning trifecta: elite-level racing, jaw-dropping fashion, and endless entertainment for all. 

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Awapuni Boxing Day Races

The Christmas clean-up can wait. Join Awapuni Racing Centre for the day that’s quickly become a favourite on Manawatu’s summer social calendar – so much so that the always popular Silks Lounge has now sold out!

With a free DJ pumping tunes between races, children’s entertainment, food trucks and the infamous Inspire Net Undie 100 (we hope Santa pulled through with a nice pair of undies!), there is something for everyone.

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Wingatui Boxing Day Races

Let the Christmas celebrations roll on and enjoy a day out with the family at Wingatui’s Boxing Day Races. Forget the fancy hospitality precincts and dress codes that go with them – when it comes to Wingatui’s Boxing Day Races think jandals, deck chairs, and picnics made from Christmas leftovers.

There’ll be a stack of children’s entertainment to keep the junior members occupied, including tug-of-war, relay races and colouring-in competition. With the little ones out of your hair, kick back and enjoy a flutter in the sun, flute in hand!

A GA ticket will set you back $10, with those under 18 gaining free entry. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate, on raceday. 

There you have it! Boxing Day plans, sorted. For more summer racing events, head to

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