20 things so Ellerslie it hurts

29 Jul 2021
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Ahh racedays… that summer-time activity that never goes out of style.


Starting to get that itch for a summer’s day at the track and on the bubbles?

We get it. We’ve almost got hives over it.

For now though, as we must wait for the days to get longer and summer to set in, we’ve got you the ultimate itch-avoidance read – 20 things that are so Ellerslie it hurts.

Here they are…

1. Getting photographed by the oncourse photographers and never seeing the image – were they from the newspaper? A blog? A fashion website? A racing website? One of Ellerslie or Love Racing‘s official photographers?

It’s not your problem you’re so photogenic


2. Getting stuck in that infamous Auckland traffic when you’re desperately trying to get around the Greenlane roundabout and there’s only two minutes until Race 1

3. Being so overly confident after one winning bet that you plunge it all on the rank outsider – only to end up back where you started

Uh oh! When it’s not your lucky day


4. Forgetting that most of the complex is grass – and spending the day sinking into it in your best stilettos while wishing you’d worn a block or wedge heel

5. Taking a half-day off work on a twilight night to make sure you can get in early to get a prime position in the Garden Party in Cuvée – those spots are SOUGHT AFTER

The earlybird gets the spots in the Garden Party… speaking of which, early release ticket prices are out NOW


6. Looking at the racebook with a knowledgeable grin – but really having no idea what you’re looking at

7. Watching the jockeys effortlessly leap onto a moving horse – and comparing it to your last (failed) box jumping attempt at F45

They make it all look so easy, jockeys should just automatically get an F45 ‘100’ mug


8. Losing your ID….losing your phone….losing your keys AND losing that winning ticket : (

9. Getting that first taste of bubbles when hospitality precincts open at 11.30am on Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day and knowing that it’s going to be a goooood day

When the first bubbles hit the back of your mouth and you KNOW she’s going to be a goodie


10. The walk to Greenlane McDonalds with half the racecourse on a Thursday night (or should we say Friday morning?) after the Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night

11. Wondering to yourself why they call it the Birdcage? Or what a strapper is? Or what that loud siren means? Or why the heck someone’s saying that “the red light is on”?

This is the birdcage… but it’s got horses and jockeys in it, not birds. Confusing, we know


13. That certain ‘odour’ that occasionally crosses your path, usually when you’re out getting a shot for the ‘gram near the stables or as you cross over that walkway on your way to the Ascot Stand…

12. Having SkyCity Boxing Day Races (or New Year’s Day Races!) memories from when you were a child… 20-60 years ago. It’s a social institution for a reason

Are you really an Aucklander if you didn’t spend at least one Boxing Day of your childhood here at Ellerslie?


14. Stress purchasing three different outfits on express shipping, only to wear something completely different. Bonus points if you then forget to return them. (Or is that just our office?!)

15. Getting down to some of the best cover bands in the city on NZB Karaka Million night – nothing says the races like a ‘Sex on Fire’ singalong… amiright?

Insider fact: ‘My Heart Will Go On’ used to be played when it was home-time to try disperse the revelers on the dancefloor – only it would instead attract even more people to the floor.


16. Miss-timing your arrival and having to wait by the barriers on the entrance driveway while the horses head into the Parade Ring. Don’t they know who you are?!

17. Cheering your “horse” down the straight, celebrating the win, then realising it wasn’t the one you’d picked after all

It all “Lookseasy” until you realise you’ve been cheering for the wrong horse


18. Forgetting that all important raceday accessory – sunscreen – and proceeding to cringe at the evidence of your shiny, red visage on social media for weeks afterward

19. Spending half your Vodafone Derby Day talking about the ‘Derr-bee‘ (aka Derby) only to find out hours later that it’s actually pronounced ‘Dar-be’.

Rocket Spade – The most recent winner of the Vodafone New Zealand Derby (Read: ‘DAR-BE’)


20. Calling your boss on the first Tuesday of November to let them know you’re on a course (only you and your friends on social need to know it’s a racecourse…)

It’s even harder to get away with it when you’re named one of the day’s best dressed and your mug is ALL OVER social media and in the paper


Still itchy for summer racedays?

  • Click here to check out our event calendar – tickets to our summer of racing are officially ON SALE NOW

  • We’ve missed some? Sure we have! But we’ll do another of these before the summer’s out. If you’ve got a goodie to contribute, make sure to comment on the social posts we’ve made sharing this!


WIN | Purchase your tickets before 1 September, pop FLY into the promo code box at checkout and you’ll find yourself in the draw to wing your way to the races in a helicopter with up to five friends this season (terms and conditions apply).

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