A ride down memory lane: Robert Wellwood

13 Dec 2022
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

With our history spanning over 160 years, we thought it high time to ask a few (not so old!) friends of Ellerslie to recall their favourite memories of racing here at ‘The Big E’.

Today we chat to Robert Wellwood…


Robert speaking to the crowd after Concert Hall’s win on Boxing Day 2020


The Boxing Day Races are always one to remember, but 2020’s edition was even more so for Robert Wellwood. Robert, training in partnership with Roger James, took out the day’s feature race, the Group 1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic, with quality mare Concert Hall making a late effort to seize the win.

Says Robert on the occasion…

“A raceday at Ellerslie is a special day any time you get to go there but Boxing Day especially. With the big crowd up there looking down, it sends shivers down my spine even now thinking about that day.

“I certainly thought she had a chance at winning the big race but any race is hard to win, let alone Group Ones, on a day like Boxing Day. You really do have to have everything go your way. It’s certainly very nerve racking. I did feel it was probably my best chance of winning a Group One since I had been in partnerships with Roger. At the 200m mark I probably didn’t know we were going to win and she really dug deep. It was just a very, very special day.

“In my first year of training in partnership with Roger (James), Hypnos won the Uncle Remus Stakes on Boxing Day and that was my first stakes winner so the Boxing Day Races have provided me with a few ‘firsts’.


It really is one of the greatest days in New Zealand racing.

A few snaps from that Group 1 memory

Major Partners