Racing: Rotorua wash-out poses rescheduling headache

By Mike Dillon

New race times and full fields are available on www.nzracing.co.nz. File photo / 123rf
New race times and full fields are available on www.nzracing.co.nz. File photo / 123rf

Rotorua Racing Club officials and members of the Racing Integrity Unit inspected a rain soaked track yesterday morning and ruled it impossible to be fit for racing today. Surface water covered the track.

The meeting was to have featured the group three Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup (2200m) and the group three ISCL Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

Te Awamutu's meeting yesterday has been transferred to Monday. The fields remain unchanged and scratchings have been re-instated. New race times and full fields are available on www.nzracing.co.nz

Rotorua's case was more problematical. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing executive Tim Aldridge said much ground was required to be covered before a decision was made as to the future of the meeting.

"The two major issues are whether to reschedule the meeting to Friday in the coming week or Sunday, nine days away or whether to pull the meeting apart and run some races at other tracks with meetings approaching.

"You have to confer with the NZ Trainers' representatives and we had delays in contacting a couple. Then there is track availability, caterers ... a hundred things."

Transferring Te Awamutu from yesterday to Monday has a negligible financial downturn, but Rotorua's case, coming off a prime Saturday spot, is much more significant.

You cannot accurately predict what turnover downturn going from Saturday to a Friday would create, but a guess might be in the range of 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

The Racing Board has assessed the financial damage to the industry from losing a handful of meeting in the first three months of the year at between $2m and $3m.

And winter is on racing's doorstep.

• New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing was last night still deciding the future of the cancelled Rotorua Cup meeting.

The decision-making meeting in Wellington was on-going when the Herald reached deadline.

• The former Kylie Fawcett-trained galloper Peaky Blinders will make his Australian debut for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young when he steps out in the Recycal Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield today. Renamed Our Peaky Blinders since crossing the Tasman, the son of Sir Percy won two of his six starts for Fawcett.

"He's a horse who has been bought by clients, headed by Seymour Bloodstock and a good syndicate," Busuttin said.

"He looks to be a handy, progressive horse from New Zealand." Busuttin believes Our Peaky Blinders' future lies in races over more ground than the 1400m but he is fresh for the distance having not raced for nine weeks. "He certainly can gallop," Busuttin said. "He'll be a nice horse to have in the stable going forward."

- Additional reporting NZ Racing Desk

- NZ Herald

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