There was something almost calming in the news the racing industry didn't want to hear today.
Because while thoroughbred racing is now targeting July as their best case scenario for a return and harness racing a month earlier, at least those inside the industry now have a date to aim at. As much as anybody can at the moment.
Horse racing was halted last week and will remain so while the country is a Covid-19 alert level 4, but racing bosses are confident they can run race meetings without crowds and with strict protocols at level 3.
If New Zealand returns to level 3 at the first Government deadline in three weeks, racing could have effectively started a week or so later, but that has been stymied by many of the horses around the country being put out of training.
Some of that was because of their trainer's preference, others because of the closure of public training tracks and a smaller number by restrictions on what training activities can be undertaken on private properties.
Without meaningful numbers of horses in work, the supply chain has been cut so racing will face weeks and possibly two months on the sidelines when it should be racing but won't be able to.
That was met with shock by leading overseas racing experts who contacted the Herald today, stunned that racing won't be ready to go at the first available moment.
But there is now almost a resignation among many New Zealand trainers and they has been simply left looking for clarity.
That was provided today when New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing suggested July 1 as their best case scenario date for a resumption to racing if the alert levels are reduced on schedule, while Harness Racing New Zealand has suggested late May or early June.
Both will look to operate on a regional basis to restrict travel and likely have shorter races but NZTR has indicated the minimum stakes will remain at $10,000.
The jumps racing season will hopefully be held in the North Island but not the South this winter as it requires too much movement of horses and, more importantly, jockeys.
Harness racing could, all going well, return earlier as they have more horses training at half pace on private training tracks which could step back up to fast work as soon as the country returned to level 3.
Both codes will canvass trainers in the next week to see how many horses could possibly be ready to resume around those proposed relaunch dates.
One of the biggest concerns being expressed by both codes is how much money the TAB has in its coffers to distribute to the industry for stakes, with the governing body now certain to have to apply to the Government for financial assistance.
While the industry faces the toughest time in its history, the Australian racing industry continues although stakes have been halved for the group one races on the first day of The Championships in Sydney this Saturday.
Most of the New Zealanders at the elite Randwick carnival have not fared well in the barrier draws with Melody Belle drawn slightly wide (barrier 14 but likely to be 11 after scratchings) in the Doncaster.
Vodafone Derby winner Sherwood Forest will start from the outside of the 12 runners in the ATC Derby, in which fellow Cambridge galloper Quick Thinker has barrier six.