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PB Cup on card as premier event at HB meet

POVERTY Bay Turf Club is hoping for strong support from the local community when the Vintech Pacific Poverty Bay Cup is held at Hawkes's Bay Racing in Hastings on April 17.

The club will provide free buses and will return punters home on the same day.

The Poverty Bay Cup has been linked with the Power Farming Hawke's Bay Cup as the club acts to provide an action-packed day of exciting racing.

Total stakes money at the April 17 meeting will be $280,000.

That compares to about $105,000 for a Poverty Bay meeting, said Poverty Bay Turf Club president Rod Young.

The Hawke's Bay Cup is a feature event on the racing calendar, dates back 150 years and has stake money of $50,000.

Mr Young says the Hawke's Bay Cup would feature “up and coming stayers” who have won two or three races and will go on to win “bigger cups” in the following season.

The Poverty Bay Turf Club is adapting to the realities of the new-look industry after the Racing Industry Transition Agency dramatically reduced the number of race courses in the country.

Racing in Gisborne, which dates back to 1870, is no more.

Poverty Bay was offered a couple of present Hastings race dates to stage a stand-alone meeting there but instead decided to concentrate on running their feature race on one of Hawke's Bay Racing's major race days for at least one year.

The club was not sure it was time to host an industry day in Hastings that might not get well supported, but hoped to do so in the future, Mr Young said.

Poverty Bay Turf Club members will gain free entry to the members stand in Hastings while the Gisborne public will get free entry into the racecourse.

Mr Young said the club had been busy and was confident Gisborne attendees would enjoy a fine day of racing.

Seats on the bus to Hastings can be booked on info@experiencegisborne.co.nz or on 021 2103 153.

LAST HOME WINNER: More Wonder, ridden by Ryan Elliot, pips Roll the Gold, ridden by Jasmine Fawcett in last year's Poverty Bay Cup.The race was the last Poverty Bay Cup to be raced at Makaraka Racecourse, known in recent years as Ashwood Park, because of controversial restructuring of New Zealand racing. File photo