What was once the third busiest harness racing track in New Zealand will close tonight without a murmur.
Forbury Park in Dunedin will hold its final harness meeting and then close to all racing, with the code's bosses to meet tomorrow to decide what happens next to the property.
It will likely be sold and some of the money given to the Forbury Park Trotting Club to keep racing at other venues such as Wingatui on the grass and Wyndham in Southland, with the rest of the money to be returned to Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) as per the new Racing Act.
"If that happens then that money will be used for the benefit of harness racing in the region, south of the Waitaki River," says HRNZ chief executive Gary Woodham.
Forbury Park was once New Zealand's third most important harness track behind Addington and Alexandra Park, the only other New Zealand venue outside those two to stage an Inter Dominion.
It did so in 1965 and 15,000 people were there to watch Jay Ar and Robin Dundee dead-heat in the pacing final.
But that was another time and with rundown facilities, an upside down balance sheet and most of the horses who race there having to travel from Southland or significantly north of Dunedin, Forbury Park has run its race.
There would have been times when local councils would have fought to retain it but the economic benefits aren't there and the harness racing code can make a case Forbury Park isn't needed.
Like Wellington after Hutt Park closed, Dunedin may now struggle to maintain any connection to the code but anybody who has been to a bitterly cold Forbury Park in winter will testify maybe that version of harness racing is better off as a television sport.
Still, the death of any racetrack, a place where so many people have enjoyed either the briefest moments of punting joy or the thrill of winning ownership that lasts a lifetime, is sad.
Such closures, especially of tracks like Forbury Park, are rare but after racing's radical reforms dovetailed into the Covid pandemic, the bottom line is going to trump the heartstrings more often than not.
So to Forbury Park, it is goodbye and thanks.
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAY ON FINAL NIGHT
Here is how some of the stars of Forbury Park's last meeting tonight rate their best chance of a farewell win, and how some of them will remember the Dunedin track.
Ricky May: "I think Forbury has the best racing surfaces to drive on and I have won a lot of races there. I think my best chance of a winner on the final night will be Cody Banner (R3, No 1).
Blair Orange: "It has been a very good track to me but somehow I managed to get beaten driving Jack Cade (superstar pacer) there.
"That aside it is a track that has helped plenty of drivers like me make a name for themselves and it has been one of our best racing surfaces for a very long time.
"My best chance of a win to say goodbye will be Midnitetraintogeorga (R2, No 4) who doesn't meet a very strong field."
Kirk Larsen: "I won my first race as a driver at Forbury Park so I am hoping I can win the last race there.
"That's on Cast A Shadow (R10, No 2) who won well last start and if he produces that form will would be hard to beat from gate two.
"I also train King Of The North who [son] Tristan will drive but it is not a bad field so he might need some luck."
Gavin Smith: "One Over All (R9, No 3) will be hard to run down around this track if he gets away, which he normally does."
Brad Willliamson: "Shard's Fury (R5, No 2) jumps up in grade but has a good draw and if he leads or trials he can threaten."
Jonny Cox: "Dashtothebeach (R8, No 3) has produced a couple of nice wins in his last two and I think can make it three in a row."
Nathan Williamson: "Dem Bones Dem Bones (R6, No 2) is my best drive and he trots throughout he should win."