Today's iconic Auckland Cup meeting at Ellerslie has been cancelled because of the big wet, with the elite races to be run on Thursday.

Auckland Racing Club bosses were left with little option after the relentless rain in the city from mid afternoon yesterday making the Ellerslie track unsafe to race on. While the racing surface itself may have posed no danger to the horses, the water and mud thrown up by the horses would have meant jockeys would have struggled for visibility.

The decision was made after a track inspection at 6.30am so industry participants and members of the public planning to attend the meeting had as much warning as possible.

"We could have looked at transferring the meeting to Sunday but with the weather forecast for the next 24 hours we couldn't be confident things would be any better," says ARC chief executive Cameron George.

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"So we will hold the four major races set down for today, including the Auckland Cup, at a twilight meeting on Thursday night."

That means all bets already placed on today's meeting will be refunded, with the races to be re-opened by the TAB once the fields for Thursday's meeting are determined.

The ARC is still working through the details of the abandonment and the timetable for Thursday's new meeting.