The Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club's Anniversary Day meeting was abandoned on Monday because of fears over the safety of the Woodville track.

And the abandonment would probably cost the club, president Joe Dodunski told the Dannevirke News.

"I was upset, but it's all about health and safety," he said.

"However, it's going to be pretty costly for our club."

Rain on the hard and fast Woodville track could have caused problems for horses and riders, Mr Dodunski said.

"When they came into the turn and put pressure on the horses they could have slipped," he said.

"But before the rain the track was in bloody great condition."


With the early decision to call off the traditional Woodville-Pahiatua Cup meeting made about 11am, well before the 12.35 start, Mr Dodunski said most trainers were stopped halfway to the track.

"There were still some people who came to the course anyway and they received a free lunch."

However, a leading central districts trainer voiced his concerns about the state of New Zealand racing to NZ Racing Desk in the wake of the Woodville abandonment.

Taranaki conditioner Allan Sharrock said he had seven horses go to Woodville and he was livid they had to turn around, at the owner's cost.

"Trying to run race meetings on unirrigated tracks with rain forecast is a joke. I'm over this," he said.

Last August the club's meeting was abandoned because of water lying on the track, but the Woodville course also hosted other club's meetings recently when their tracks were ruled unsuitable for racing.

Woodville has a reputation for producing one of the best racing surfaces in the region.

Races rescheduled:
The Woodville-Pahiatua meeting has been re-scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, January 25.

The original fields will remain, with all scratchings re-instated.

The first race will be at 12.10pm, with the last at 4.50pm.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) made the decision after consulting the club and regional programming chairman and requesting a forecast from Niwa specifically for Woodville.

Niwa's forecast for tomorrow gave NZTR the confidence to proceed with the meeting.