Seven race card includes Auckland Cup and Bonecrusher Stakes.

The best racing news for a week is that the weather for Ellerslie's newly established Thursday twilight meeting will be fine and dry.

Remember that?

"It looks like being brilliant," says Auckland Racing Club CEO Cameron George.

The sense of going to Thursday and not postponing Saturday's massive raceday until yesterday became obvious when torrential rain hit Auckland again late yesterday morning.


Ellerslie will run a seven-race card including the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, $200,000 Bonecrusher Stakes and $200,000 Sistema Stakes.

The first race is 3.13pm and the final at 6.59pm.

Three of the races scheduled for Saturday will not be run, the reason being twofold, according to Cameron George.

"For starters we didn't want to impact on Saturday's Te Rapa meeting. Obviously this meeting wasn't scheduled by the programming committee and the less impact we can have on Waikato the better. To run all 10 races would have been a bigger problem for them.

"Also, we had to be aware of what was happening at our events centre [in the main public grandstand].

"Every part of that had business functions and we have already asked where possible to shorten up those as much as is possible."

Given the weather forecast, George is more than a little confident of a good attendance.

"It should be a fantastic evening with this class of racing.

"We will be pushing for local businesses to close a touch early, allowing staff to attend."

Sense has prevailed: You can relax, the Melbourne Cup date from the first Tuesday in November will not be changed. "There are no plans to move the Melbourne Cup now or in the future," was yesterday declared by Victoria Racing Club newly appointed chairman Amanda Elliott.

She added that speculation of a move had been unfounded and ill-informed.

"The Melbourne Cup Carnival is internationally recognised and considered one of the great racing carnivals of the world.

"I emphatically assure all Australians that the Melbourne Cup will continue to be run on the first Tuesday in November," said Mrs Elliott.

Anything else would be lunacy.

Speculation came after the Melbourne Racing Club announced serious consideration was being given to switching the Caulfield Cup from a handicap to weight-for-age, which would have serious implications going forward from Caulfield to the Melbourne Cup.

Loved the Melbourne headline: "Have the MRC chiefs been drinking from the Yarra River?".

Forced into a winner?

In everything good there is a little bad and in everything bad there is a little good.

The secret is finding the positive.

Congratulations to Auckland Racing Club CEO Cameron George for his summation of Saturday's disastrous abandonment of Saturday's Auckland Cup raceday.

There was a lot of bad in that, but Cameron found the positive when announcing on television that all the main races will be encapsulated in a boutique twilight meeting at Ellerslie on Thursday.

Cameron: "Who knows, it might be the way forward." Exactly.

As master visionary Australian trainer, the late Colin Hayes, once said: "The future belongs to those who plan for it."

Hayes, father of David Hayes, currently slaying all before him in Australia, was single handedly responsible for introducing the fabulously wealthy Arab sheikhs to Australian racing. Where would they be without that today. Who knows that twilight racing is not the future of racing in Auckland. The half dozen or so twilight summer meets the ARC currently run are hugely popular. Why not the major races?

Gone are the days when the population flocked to the track because the only alternatives were rugby at Eden Park and league at a muddy Carlaw Park. Today there is a plethora of alternatives. Saturdays they still punt and go to an alternative event because racing is telecast live. A win-win.

There are less obstructions on a midweek twilight meet. The Karaka Million night at Ellerslie, run on Sunday twilight, shows conclusively racing has a massive walk-up audience when packaged to suit.

Who knows what Thursday may bring. A forced experiment for sure, but an experiment nonetheless.

The ARC needs kind weather and that is forecast to be the case.