Following the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington Raceway yesterday, Kiwis are relieved that they can return to no longer paying attention to harness racing after being forced to feign interest for little more than 24 hours.
“It’s a huge relief,” said Addington race-goer Charlotte Bell, “I had completely forgotten that harness racing even still existed until yesterday, and now I can return to not caring about it for another 364 days. It’s not like I’d even heard of the horses before, Adore Me? Terror To Love? They all look the same.”
It was a common theme across the track throughout the day as punters revealed that they had no idea how to read form guides, instead preferring to pick their runners off witty sounding names or cryptic tipster comments in the race guide.
“I pick all the horses whose names are jokes about how terrible the horse’s chances are,” said John Green as he queued for a spot behind a bush to relieve himself. “It’s clearly a clever ploy by the owner to trick people into not backing their horse, so I’m sure to make a bloody fortune off my $1 each way bets!”
Even TVNZ’s George Berry who provided live crosses from the track conceded that he wasn’t really there to cover the race, “Yeah, we basically turn up each year to get the obligatory shots of young, attractive, drunk Cantabrians making idiots of themselves, a few obscenely stupid headpieces from fashion in the field, and a clip of an over-excited horse owner celebrating. Our producer in Auckland had to remind us there was an actual harness race on that we needed to watch, it was quite disconcerting having to pretend to know something about the sport when virtually nobody cares about it,” said Berry.
For their part, the TAB conceded that sending staff to the New Zealand Trotting Cup was akin to time travel for the organisation. “Oh absolutely, it’s like going back to nineteenth century Ireland, as no where else in the world cares this much about harness racing anymore,” said a TAB spokesperson. “We’re still waiting for locals to free up the party line into Christchurch so we can find out just how much money our tote operators fleeced from them.”