Wellington Cup Carnival kicks off in style

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 11:40 20/01/2013
Trentham races
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

Chris Johnson rides Final Touch to victory in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham Racecourse yesterday.

Trentham races
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
Winning horse Final Touch's owner Karen Parsons celebrates with jockey Chris Johnson.

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Live music, dancing and boutique wine and beer were the order of the day as punters turned out for yesterday's opening of the Wellington Cup Carnival at Trentham Racecourse.

Karen Parsons, whose horse took out the big race, was especially ebullient.

Final Touch, ridden by Chris Johnson and owned and trained by Ms Parsons, won the $250,000 Telegraph Handicap Race in front of a 3000-strong crowd.

Wellington Racing Club general manager Darin Balcombe said the weather was generally beautiful for the opening day of the week-long Wellington Cup Carnival.

"Everyone seemed to have a really good time - everyone seemed to be up dancing to the bands," Mr Balcombe said.

"Our betting turnovers were well up on last year."

Alongside the live music, those at yesterday's event were also treated to a festival of boutique wines and craft beers.

Tomorrow the racetrack will host Family Day, including the children's Fashion in the Field event, and the carnival will conclude with Wellington Cup Day next Saturday.

Contact Olivia Wannan
General reporter
Email: olivia.wannan@dompost.co.nz

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