Enting retires leaving big shoes to fill

The search is on for a new chief at Te Rapa.

The Waikato Racing Club this week began advertising for a new general manager to replace the retiring Tony Enting.

Enting is stepping down after 34 years in charge at Te Rapa but he will stay on in a part-time role to oversee the club's racing administration while the new general manager gets to grips with the position.

Developing new investment and sponsorship opportunities is highlighted as one of the ''most important tasks'' in the general manager's job description.

''We want to Te Rapa to that next level,'' club chairman David Smith said yesterday.

''The role is more marketing orientated and that might take priority over the racing side for the first 12 months and we've offered Tony that [racing] role on a part-time contractual basis.

''Between the two venues [Te Rapa and Paeroa] we've got 28 racedays and seven trial days and we just need to get people along.

''We want to go to Hamilton businesses and say why don't you get together a group of your staff or clients and come down to Te Rapa for a raceday where they can be in a room and be fed and watered and entertained.

''We're looking for someone to promote Te Rapa.''

Enting, 64, began at Te Rapa in 1979, having previously spent 2 1/2 years at the Franklin Racing Club after leaving a banking job.

''Tony's been great. He's been tremendous. His knowledge of racing is second to none. He's done a great job over the years, he really has,'' Smith said.

Enting said the time was right for change at the club.

''I'm retiring from general manager but the club has offered me a position to stay involved with the racing content at both the venues we're operating from at the moment,'' he said.

''The time is right, given the club's refocus on business development, given the amount of time I've been here and the age I'm coming to, that I step aside now but I welcome the retention of my involvement to do the racing matters for them on a contractual basis.

''I'm hoping it's a win-win situation for everybody.''

Meanwhile, the club will today host its first twilight meeting at Te Rapa today.

The first race is at 3.12pm and the last of the eight races is at 7.15pm with four hours of live
music beginning at 5pm as the club seeks to attract an after-work crowd.

Te Rapa trainer David Greene will host a cocktail party in the Colours Lounge as part of the festivities with a $35 entry fee getting guests a cocktail, finger food and a racebook.

The best dressed guest will win a $300 voucher from clothing label Atemgirl.

Greene said he expected the twilight meeting to be popular, with more than 100 already coming for his cocktail party.