Divine intervention has kept Cambridge trainer Tony Pike's group one Auckland Cup dream alive.
He was all set to withdraw his in-form hope Chenille from the Barfoot & Thompson-sponsored feature due to the sodden state of the Ellerslie track before the call was made to postpone yesterday's meeting.
"A couple of mates rang me on Friday night to say it was hosing down again and I thought it was game over for us," Pike said.
"Her work on Thursday morning was outstanding and I couldn't have been happier - she's the best she's been all season."
Pike has now been given a second chance at the Cup, a race he won in 2015 with Rock Diva, with the meeting now rescheduled as a twilight meeting on Thursday.
"We need some good weather and strong winds for the track to come back to a reasonable surface," he said.
"Hopefully, it will dry quickly and give us some light at the end of the tunnel."
Chenille won the Karaka Stayers' Cup three runs back before a rain-affected track tripped her up in the group two Avondale Cup.
The Pentire mare bounced back on a much firmer Ellerslie surface last Saturday with a commanding performance to claim top honours in the Nathans Memorial.
Pike also has his talented two-year-old pair of Felton Road and Ujjayyi in the group one Sistema Stakes.
The former won his first two starts before finishing third in the Karaka Million while Ujjayyi was successful on debut at Te Aroha.
"Felton Road is a smart horse and he's well and Ujjayyi, who clearly doesn't go left-handed, is talented but whether she's professional enough for a race like this I'm not sure," Pike said.
- NZ Racing Desk