A vacation, racing and fashion - is there a better combo?

13 Jan 2022
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

COVID-19 restrictions around the SkyCity Boxing Day Races has seen the popular fashions in the field competition find a new home online.

Entries to this virtual competition open on Monday 17 January with the winners taking home a prize from SkyCity Auckland valued at over $1000, as well as nabbing one of the sought-after pre-qualification spots for The Ned Prix de Fashion.

In celebration of our new-found freedom, we decided to create what we think is the ultimate in “fashion and racing weekend,” proving that racing and fashion really do go hand-in-hand – just call us your fave event travel advisors 😉

Friday 4 March

After arriving in Auckland City, check in to the SkyCity Grand for your first of two nights in luxury. Once you’ve admired your room (trust us, it’s lovely!), it’s time to hit the streets to make the most of Auckland’s shopping precincts.

One of the well appointed rooms at SkyCity Grand


From Britomart (a waterfront precinct that has 6.5hectares of shopping, green spaces and restaurants) to Newmarket (home to the recently-redeveloped Westfield Newmarket that has more than 230 new stores and eateries), your credit card will be exhausted after spending the afternoon in the shops.

Westfield Newmarket


That evening you’ve got your pick of restaurants just a stone’s throw from the SkyCity Grand with the super popular Federal Street at your doorstep.

Saturday 5 March

It’s racing time!

We recommend getting in early and booking a spot at Dry & Tea to get your hair and makeup done before a day at the track. It takes all the stress out of getting ready and their team are magicians (we speak from experience!).

Breakfast can be enjoyed at Gusto at the Grand – start as you mean to go on and enjoy a mimosa?

Gusto at the Grand is the perfect spot for a pre-races champagne breakfast


Gates to Vodafone Derby Day open at 11am and fashion registrations for the Adashiko Fashion Qualifiers are open from 11am until 1.30pm at the Fashion Tent. This is your last chance to qualify for the national fashions in the field final, The Ned Prix de Fashion, so make sure you’ve got a fab outfit prepared.

If you aren’t wanting to strut your stuff on the runway, the day has a number of great hospitality options (several of which are trackside!) from which to enjoy the races including the $1million Vodafone New Zealand Derby.

With live music in Cuvée after the last race, your day at the races doesn’t have to end when the horses leave.

When your feet are telling you they’ve had enough though, a nightcap back near the hotel will be just the ticket – Depot or the Sugar Club are the team’s picks.

Sunday 6 March

A leisurely start might be on the cards this morning – and a late check out can be requested (the team will try their best to accommodate you).

The Fed Deli has bottomless coffee and classic diner fare, perfect for the morning after a night out.

And…if you want to do it all over again the following weekend, our summer season of racing is wrapping up with Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day – taking place on Sunday 13 March.

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