The Classics Carnival

Caitlin O'Sullivan
19 February 2021

Three stunning race days, over three consecutive weekends, attracting the crème de la crème of New Zealand racing – GIDDY UP! Encompassing Ellerslie’s Auckland Cup Week® and Wellington Racing Club’s Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks Day, get set to kick up your heels, immerse yourself in tradition and enjoy New Zealand Thoroughbred racing at the most elite level.

Vodafone Derby Day at Ellerslie, Saturday 6 March

A race dating back to the late 1700’s, the Derby is among the most historically charged races around. Steeped in tradition (including the famous ‘black and white’ dress code) and prestige, all jockeys, trainers and owners dream of holding the Vodafone New Zealand Derby trophy high above their heads. Worth an eye-watering $1 million, stakes don’t get much higher (they actually don’t – the Vodafone New Zealand Derby is New Zealand’s richest Group 1 race!).

While things on the racetrack will be hotly contested, so too will things on the runway! The national fashion in the field final, The Ned Prix de Fashion will be held this Vodafone Derby Day, attracting the most fashionable fillies around. With a winner-takes-all prize pack worth more than $20,000, expect to see some jaw-dropping ensembles on-course.

Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day® at Ellerslie, Saturday 13 March

While monochrome lovers will be in their element on Derby Day, Barfoot and Thompson Auckland Cup Day® is the day for colour - and in particular, blue. While not a dress code requirement, incorporating ‘a touch of blue’ to your outfit as a nod to the day’s namesake is encouraged (and helps narrow down the options!). Out on the track, witness the country’s toughest stayers go to battle in the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup®, run over 3200m. Join Ellerslie for one final hurrah to an incredible summer of racing.

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks Day at Trentham, Saturday 20 March

An unbelievable line-up of racing will finish in the capital at Wellington Racing Club’s Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks Day. Featuring the $400,000 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks, as well as four other black type races run in support, Thoroughbred racing doesn’t get much better! While the on-track entertainment will feature a class act of horses, jockeys and trainers, entertainment off the track will be just as sensational, with live music from the much sought-after Irish band Shenanigans, fabulous hospitality and the New Leaf Skincare best dressed competition.

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