Christchurch's Addington Cup Week will be held behind closed doors for the first time in its 17-year history.
With the South Island staying at COVID-19 Alert Level 2, organisers have confirmed Cup Week will not be open to the public.
Level 2 restrictions will see scheduled racing go ahead, but the limit on gatherings at 100 people allows no other option, but to lock out thousands of spectators.
"Addington Cup Week, for many, is all about the raceday experience, getting dressed up and sharing good times with great friends, hosting clients and mingling with other people all in a party-like atmosphere," says Addington Raceway chief executive Brian Thompson.
"It's just not an event where anyone wants to social distance from others."
Hospitality packages sold for the 2021 Cup Week will be fully refunded, while the sale of tickets had already been pushed back, due to COVID restrictions.
The only spectators permitted to attend will be those involved in the racing industry, who will operate in small groups, Thompson adds.
"We are very disappointed not to be able to share this year's Cup Week with Canterbury, but we have no other option than to turn Cup Week into a smaller racing industry day for members, owners, trainers and business partners, given there is no indication when we will come out of Level 2."
The Trotting Cup Day will take place on November 9, with Show Day on November 12.