'Not a day for black jeans'

Southland's biggest raceday of the year is looming.

Social clubs, businesses, groups of families and friends have booked marquees and hospitality rooms for the Southland Racing Club's Christmas Cracker meeting at Ascot Park, Invercargill, on December 15.

Club president Sean Bellew said he wanted racegoers to dress in their finery.

''We want glamour from men and women ... It's not a day for black jeans,'' he said.

The total value for Fashion in the Field prizes is $4000. Celebrity spotters will move through the crowd and invite people to enter Fashion in the Field.

About 4000 people have prebooked for the day and 80 marquees will be erected on course. No glass will be allowed in public areas, except for bottles of wine.

Bellew said 9000 plastic drinking vessels have been ordered for racegoers and beer would be sold in cans.

No alcohol can brought on course. If racegoers try to, it will be confiscated.

''Not even the president can bring alcohol on course,'' Bellew said.

''We have a very strong alcohol and intoxication system in place.''

The 40 security staff will watch for intoxicated people. For those who need a break from alcohol, they will be taken to a rehydration station or removed from the course.

''Our main focus is to make the day safe and enjoyable for everyone,'' Bellew said.

The Southland Times