Records show that the first meeting to be held in the Taranaki region was on 1st January 1849, although it was to be some 27 years later that the Taranaki Racing Club was formed in 1876. The Opunake Racing Club first organised races as early as 1886 and each December still hold a meeting at this racecourse, which is based at New Plymouth in the Taranaki region of North Island.

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As well as the Opunake Racing Club, the Taranaki Racing Club also holds 9 meets at the track annually. Racegoers are able to celebrate legendary horses from the past that were trained at the track, including Rough Habit (The Rough Habit Lounge has the capacity to entertain 125 clients), Poetic Prince ( The Poetic Prince Lounge has a capacity of 100 ) and La Mer (The La Mer Lounge is the Owner's and Trainer's Lounge with a capacity of 550).

The racecourses principal race is the Group 3 Taranaki Cup held in February, along with the Group 3 Ford 2 year old Classic and the Listed 4 year old 1400.

In 1999 the Taranaki Racecourse was renamed after a public competition led to Pukekura Raceway being the most popular proposal.

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One of the racecourses other feature races is the Waikato Stud Opunake Handicap contested each August. On 23rd August 2008 the winner was Lord Monty ridden by David Walsh.

Very grateful to Carey Hobbs the Chief Executive Officer of Taranaki Racing Club for help with the text and images.


If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email johnslusar@fsmail.net