Christmas race meeting

20:43, Dec 15 2012
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.
2012 Christmas Races
Race goers start to gather at Ascot Park Racecourse, Invercargill.

Raceogers wagered $219, 612 on course at yesterday's Southland Racing Club's Christmas meeting at Ascot Park.

Nine races were held compared to 10 at last year's fixture, which generated $209,845.

Southland Racing Club president Sean Bellew said he was ''over the moon'' with the large crowd and turnover.

Jamie Searle and Collette Devlin
Southland Times reporters Jamie Searle and Collette Devlin are ready for a day at the races.

The New Zealand Racing Board officially counted 7150 people coming through the racecourse gates.

Prior to race day Mr Bellew said about 3500 tickets had been pre-sold and the club estimated about 7000 people would attend the meeting.

The club had bought about $106,000 worth of alcohol for the event but urged patrons to drink responsibly.

Southland Times photo
Race goers, from left, Erin McCall, Andie Dillon, Carla Forbes, Justine Horner, and Natasha Harris will be at the Ascot Park Christmas races today.

This year would have a higher quality of race horses because the stakes had been increased by a further $48,000.

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Southland Times photo
Punters have started to arrive for this year's Christmas Race at the Ascot Park Racecourse.

The Southland Times