It is a racecourse for thoroughbred horses (gallopers) in the Manawatu region, established when the Manawatu Racing Club bought 100 acres of land at Awapuni, costing four thousand pounds celebrated its first race day at the new course on December 26, 1903. It is situated at Palmerston North, 70 kilometers (40 miles) north of Wellington, and two minutes east of the roundabout and Otaki Railway on State Highway One, at the northern end of Otaki. In 1915, the Lawnmaster Awapuni Gold Cup was run for the first time.
Due to its ideal location in the central lower North Island and superb training facilities, this racecourse is the busiest training and racing venue in the lower half of the North Island, enticing horse trainers regularly. It utilizes up to 140 horses in training every day.
It is also the home of the Feilding, Manawatu, Marton, and Rangitikei Racing Clubs. Among these clubs, the Manawatu Racing Club is the “senior” partner of the track, staging 9 of the 18 race meetings held at the track.
The track circumference measures 1800 meters and offers a long home straight of 400 meters. It also has a large function center featuring live music, field fashion, kids’ rides, food stalls, Kapa Haka, and Highland championship dancing. The admission to the racetrack costs $5.