Sir Dave Dobbyn is set to entertain the crowds at Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas Day  Photo: Supplied

Riccarton Park heating up for New Zealand Cup Meeting opener

Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
10 November 2023

The South Island’s biggest week of racing is upon us with the New Zealand Cup Meeting commencing this Saturday, 11 November, and the excitement is building at Riccarton Park ahead of Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ 2000 Guineas Day.

After a stellar three days in Hawke’s Bay, and a fantastic day at Pukekohe Park's Melbourne Cup Day, The Grand Tour Racing Festival will journey south to Riccarton Park to bring a slice of heaven to racegoers, with an after-the-last concert by Kiwi icon Sir Dave Dobbyn. All ticketing options (mentioned later!) will grant access to the performance, which is set to commence at 5:45pm after the final horses have passed the post. Sir Dave will be supported by a rising star in house music, with Pixie Lane on stage earlier in the afternoon (2.55pm).

The Grand Tour Bar will be available across all three days, and will be located this Saturday close to the Parade Ring, easily accessible to spectators.

Riccarton Park will be treated to a standout display of Thoroughbred action come Saturday, headlined by a select but classy field of three-year-old’s combining in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai 51st New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Unbeaten Byerley Park visitor Crocetti will search for a first crown at elite level on Saturday, fresh off his Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) victory last-start. Out to upset the hot-favourite will be fellow Group winners in Burn To Shine, Lantern Way, and Trobriand, while Bozo will seek to become the first filly since Guineas superstar Katie Lee (2009) to win the prestigious race.

The ten-race meeting will feature two other stakes-level races in an exciting undercard, including the Listed Donaldson Brown Pegasus Stakes (1000m) and the Listed Nautical Boat Insurance Metropolitan Trophy (2600m).

A key lead-up event for next Saturday’s Gr.3 Martin Collins 160th New Zealand Cup, the Metropolitan Trophy will feature some of the country’s top staying gallopers, including current race-favourite Nest Egg up against the likes of last year’s Cup winner Aljay, and promising Southern hopes in Prince Alby and Proserve.

The iconic Riccarton chute will stage the sprinting stars of Cup Week in the Pegasus Stakes, with another defending champion in Lincoln’s Kruz vying for back-to-back victories in the 1000m feature. The striking gelding will face some stiff competition with up-and-coming star Imwonderfultonight and Te Akau stalwarts Challa and On The Bubbles among a string of live chances.

An afternoon of top-class racing action and entertainment will be accompanied by the best of Canterbury’s hospitality, with several ticket options available for patrons. While sales have closed for Riccarton Park’s Hospitality Suites and the newly-installed Promenade Villas, access to General Admission ($25.50) and Member’s Areas ($50) are still available for purchase, for more information click here.

The first race is scheduled to jump at 12.00pm.

What: Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ 2000 Guineas Day

Where: Riccarton Park Racecourse, 165 Racecourse Road, Sockburn, Christchurch

When: Saturday, 11 November

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