The Kumara Racing Club has abandoned its famous Gold Nuggets meeting, citing dangerous conditions on the rain-soaked track.

It caps off a disastrous new year racing circuit on the West Coast after an unusually cold and wet start to summer.

The Greymouth Jockey Club marked its 150th anniversary meeting on Saturday in the rain, with a smaller crowd than usual and plummeting turnover, while the Westland Racing Club struggled on in the mud and atrocious conditions at Hokitika on Wednesday.

The Kumara committee members and stipendiary steward Mark Davison inspected the track yesterday morning after heavy overnight rain.


President John Ryall said that with more rain forecast over the next few days, and for the health and safety of both riders and horses, the club had no option but to abandon its 2017 meeting.

"We had 57mm of rain fall overnight and the section of the track around at the 1200m is unsafe," Ryall said.

"It's a big disappointment for us but we've made it as a safety call."

The new year racing circuit has been on a downward spiral since the sun shone for the Reefton Jockey Club meeting last Thursday. It has been mostly wet ever since.

Greymouth Jockey Club president Jill Bennington said the weather has played its part.

"The circuit has been weather affected but we have no control over the weather.

"We had a lot of rain leading into our Omoto meeting and on the day smallish fields and significant scratchings.

"The racing was good but a number of horses found the track a bit testing, although the track itself stood up very well. There is no doubt the weather kept people away and our turnover was down," Bennington said.

Such was the heavy nature of the track at Hokitika on Wednesday it would have been doubtful if that meeting would have gone ahead if it was in the North Island.

Meanwhile, a premature victory salute has cost the Singaporean jockey Rafi Firdhaus a five-week suspension.

He had gone out to a long early lead aboard Locally Sauced in Wednesday's Hokitika Cup and then pulled up at the winning post before realising there was still a lap to go. They subsequently finished fourth, more than 30 lengths from the winner.

Firdhaus, who had ridden the previous winner Electronic Motion, and another winner later on the card was suspended until and including February 18. Greymouth Star