The premier thoroughbred meeting scheduled for Te Aroha on Saturday has been transferred to Te Rapa.

The meeting will be highlighted by the $200,000 group one Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.

There had been concerns over the Te Aroha track. after the abandonment of a meeting there on March 17 and the decision to transfer this weekend's meeting followed a track inspection and gallops at Te Aroha yesterday morning

Six horses from the Autridge-Richards stable worked together and spread out in the home straight to enable a comprehensive assessment of the likely track condition on raceday.


The riders involved included senior jockeys Cameron Lammas and Michael McNab.

Visual observations of the gallop showed the track was cutting out, and the riders expressed concerns with the consistency of the surface and the extent to which it had cut out.

After the horses had worked, the track was inspected by a group that included McNab, Lammas, trainer Stephen Autridge, course manager Graeme Amies, club officials and stipendiary stewards John Oatham, Warwick Robinson and Brady Jones.

The inspection confirmed the riders' concerns and the inspection committee decided that Saturday's meeting should not be run at Te Aroha, with the decision influenced particularly by the inconsistent nature of the track and also by the unfavourable weather forecast for the area for the next few days.

TRAC general manager Jen Evans said that while it was disappointing that Racing Te Aroha's flagship meeting would not be held on its home track, the transfer was the logical decision under the circumstances.

The 1600m Breeders' Stakes will be the last group one of the season in New Zealand, with the Manco Easter Stakes at Ellerslie now a group two race.

The Te Rapa track usually copes well with rain and the decision to switch the Breeders' Stakes meeting is likely to be welcomed by most trainers, given the forecast for the remainder of the week.

Likely contenders for the Breeders' Stakes include the Cambridge stablemates Thee Auld Floozie and Sofia Rosa, Rasa Lila, Mime, Miss Wilson, Romantic Maid and Charmont.

Sofia Rosa and Thee Auld Floozie would give trainer Stephen Marsh a strong hand in the fillies' and mares' feature.

Thee Auld Floozie is in the best form of her career, recording three wins and a second from her last four starts. She won the Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January and was then freshened before beating Mime and Lucyinrio in the Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie in March.

Sofia Rosa, who usually handles wet ground, showed two starts back that she remained competitive in good company at 1600m, when third, behind Kawi and Start Wondering, in the Haunui Classic at Otaki. Her last start failure came in the Ranvet Stakes in Sydney.

Rasa Lila, who was a star performer last autumn, has not raced since finishing fifth in the Livamol Classic in the spring. She has a good record when fresh and has had two trials to fit her for a return to racing.

Miss Wilson, a Stratum mare and a half-sister to Jimmy Choux, began her current campaign in rating 65 company but capped a rapid rise through the grades by winning the Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham at her last start.