Tapes fly, they’re off and racing

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Queenstown’s Memorial Hall will host its first race meeting during Winter Festival – but without horses or jockeys present.

Instead, punters will be treated to live big-screen coverage of a Taranaki race meeting, with betting booths set up by the TAB.

There’ll also be winners in the fashion stakes for the event, called Lorenzo Winter Day at the Races, organised by locals Ann and John Mann and compered by Christchurch style guru Denyse Saunders.

Saunders, who’s organised Canterbury Fashion Week during Christchurch’s New Zealand Cup and Show Week for more than 20 years, is modelling the event on something similar she ran at Dunedin’s Wingatui racecourse last year.

The Canterbury fashion queen has organised the popular Top Bloke contest at the past 17 Winter Festivals and does so again this year.

At the July 2 raceday, Saunders suggests racegoers should coordinate what they wear from top to toe – and women, at least, should wear a hat.

Tickets, including a three-course lunch, are $30 a head or $250 for a table of 10 – seating capacity is about 250.