Cup Week is under starter’s orders, with championship races for horses and cyclists – along with a city farmyard – among the Bloom Festival highlights this week.
Thousands of people will be on course at both Addington Raceway and Riccarton Park for premier horse racing over several days, with the New Zealand Trotting Cup set for tomorrow and the New Zealand Cup for the country’s top gallopers to be held on Saturday.
The best-dressed will also be centre stage, with fashion competitions on both days.
Public transport may be the best option for the easiest ride to the big race days, with parking limited at both venues.
Tickets for Cup Day at Addington have already sold out, with the crowd set to surge through the gates from 11am.
Traffic flows in the area will peak mid-morning and early evening, with the 3200-metre New Zealand Trotting Cup to run late in the afternoon. To plan your route to both venues, go to the journey planner or visit metro info for more information about bus services.
An adult must accompany anyone aged under 18 at Addington tomorrow while Cup Day at Riccarton is strictly R18.
Alcohol bans will be in force in nearby streets on Cup Days at both Addington and Riccarton.
The Addington alcohol ban – from 9am to 10pm tomorrow – covers the area bounded by Lincoln Road, Moorhouse Avenue, Blenheim Road, Matipo Street and Wrights Road.
The Riccarton alcohol ban – from 7am to midnight on Saturday – covers the section bounded by Yaldhurst Road, Middlepark Road, Epsom Road, Main South Road, Racecourse Road, Buchanans Road, Carmen Road and Masham Road.
On Friday, families can enjoy a visit to Gloucester Green, with lambs, calves, rabbits, ducklings, chickens and more at the Hazletts City Farmyard. With live music, food trucks, pony rides, a merry-go-round and an on-site barbecue, there is plenty to keep all ages entertained. Tickets are available online.
Meanwhile, sports fans can get close to the action on Sunday when the country’s best cyclists vie for Vantage Criterium National Championships honours on a street course in the central city. Canterbury will also be chasing a much-needed win over Auckland on Sunday afternoon following a tough Mitre 10 Cup rugby season.