Third option available for NZ Derby meeting

3 March 2021

A third option is under consideration for the running of the Vodafone New Zealand Derby meeting this weekend.

If the COVID Alert Level 3 status for Auckland is extended for just 24 hours, the meeting could be held at Ellerslie on Monday.

The preferred option is for the meeting to be run at Ellerslie on Sunday, but that will be dependent on the Level 3 status in Auckland being lifted by 6am Sunday.

If the Level 3 status is extended for more than 24 hours, the Derby meeting will be held at Hastings on Sunday.

No other options will be considered when New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) and the Auckland Racing Club make a final decision following the Prime Minister’s Friday afternoon media conference, when a decision on the national alert levels is scheduled to be announced.

 “Everybody is keen for the meeting to be run at Ellerslie and that would still be a possible if Auckland came out of Level 3 early on Monday morning,” NZTR CEO Bernard Saundry said.

“But it is not practical for the meeting to be held any later than Monday and if there is a significant extension to the Level 3 status for Auckland, the meeting will be transferred to Hastings.”

Auckland Racing Club CEO Paul Wilcox was happy that another option was available to the club. “We want to do everything we can to retain the meeting at Ellerslie and we have now covered our bases in the event of a brief extension to Level 3 status.”

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