Welcome to Franklin Park Training Centre, Station Road Pukekohe - The training hub of Northern Harness Racing
The Franklin Park Training Centre
- The Franklin Park Training Centre is a 96 acre property close to the town centre of Pukekohe
- It has been here since the land was purchased to make a harness training centre by the Franklin Trotting Club back in 1948
- The centre has 3 training tracks as follows:
- Track No 1: Looks very similar to Alexandra Park and is used for fast work
- Track No 2: Track is located inside the main No. 1 track and is a fines surface that is used for cantering, galloping and jogging
- Track No 3: Located alongside the main No. 1 track and has a sand surface that is used for jogging
- On these tracks there are over 220 horses worked each morning as well as over 50 casuals that come to use these facilities during the month
- Also on the Franklin Park site are 7 horse barn complexes that have accompanying paddocks which accommodate approx. 100 horses. These horse barns are rented to 11 trainers
- There are laneways running to the track from privately owned properties that house 18 trainers with another 100 horses. Another 10 trainers also float their horses to the track on a daily or regular basis
- Added to this, horse numbers will swell when we have any visiting trainers that bring their horses to Auckland to race on Premier or Feature race nights (75 trainers on the list)
Staff that look after Franklin Park
- Racing Director: Karen Blanchard
- Track Manager: Graham Bayley
- Workouts and trials are held on a weekly basis
- These are run with Franklin Park staff and a group of dozen volunteers
- Average horse numbers trialing each week are around 40-50
2022/23 Workout/Trial Dates
- 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th August 2022
- 2nd, 9th, 16th, 24th & 30th September 2022
- 8th, 14th, 21st & 29th October 2022
- 5th, 12th, 19th & 25th November 2022
- 3rd, 10th, 17th & 28th December 2022
- 6th, 13th, 21st & 27th January 2023
- 4th, 10th, 16th & 25th February 2023
- 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th March 2023
- 1st, 5th, 15th, 22nd & 29th April 2023
- 5th, 12th, 20th & 27th May 2023
- 1st, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th June 2023
- 7th, 13th, 21st & 27th July 2023
Also onsite at Franklin Park
- Garrards Horse & Hound store
- Administration Offices
- Boardroom and upstairs lounge
Over 70 years of trotting in Franklin
It was resolved by a meeting of people in the Orange Hall Pukekohe on the 1st July 1948 that a trotting club be formed to be called the Franklin Trotting Club. The first President was Mr. W. S. Hosking.
At the first Annual General Meeting held on the 2nd June 1949, the Committee was authorised to purchase 38 1/2 acres of land in Station Road, Pukekohe for a training centre to be established. A successful matinee meeting was held on the 29th April 1950 at the Franklin Racing Club (now Counties Racing Club) with the Auckland Trotting Club donating the stakes and a net profit of 242 pounds was shown.
The Club obtained a floating totalisator permit which was used in July 1950 and then in March 1951 it used its first regular totalisator permit.
Franklin was the first club to centralise when it moved to the Alexandra Park Raceway of the Auckland Trotting Club on the 14th November 1959 where it raced in the daytime. On the 12th November 1960 it saw the successful outcome of three years efforts when the Franklin Trotting Club raced in Auckland under lights.
In late 2014 after a Special General Meeting and a vote, the Franklin Trotting Club members agreed for a merger with the Auckland Trotting Club.
Franklin Cup history
The first Franklin Cup was run on the 22nd July 1950, then it wasn’t held again until September 1956. After this, the Cup was the main event for the Franklin Trotting Club for the next 13 years. There was a break from the Cup event in 1969 until 1975 however there was either a 2 mile or 3200m race programmed as the feature race of the club’s calendar. On the 19th November 1976 the Franklin Trotting Cup was held for a stake of $5,000.00 for a Class 6 horse over 3200m and was won by Tokorangi.
In 1983, BASF became the first sponsor of the cup and then in 1991 Pak’n Save came onboard as the Cup sponsor. Pak’n Save then sponsored the Franklin Cup race for an amazing 20 years until 2011. John and Lynne Street and the late Graeme Blackburn along with his wife Erin were the owners of the Pak’n Save stores that were behind this long standing sponsorship until Graeme’s passing. John and Lynne Street continued as the Sponsors of this prestigious race, first under Pak’n Save Lincoln North then as Lincoln Farms. As owners, the group were able to win the Cup in 2004 with Attorney General.
The race achieved Group 2 status in 1992 and is still this today and over the years has had a stake as high as $80,000.00. A world record for 3200m was set when back in 1980 when Delightful Lady won in a time of 4.05.5. Barry and Mark Purdon are the most successful trainers of this race with over 20 wins between them. Today, the Franklin Cup is run annually on New Year’s Eve over a distance of 2700m and for a stake of $50,000.
For any questions or queries relating to Franklin Park, contact Karen Blanchard (Racing Director) on 09 631 1163 or 027 808 3150. Alternatively you can e-mail Karen at; firstname.lastname@example.org