There are six weeks left in the racing season but for some of trainer Tony Pike's team, Saturday's Ruakaka meeting may be the last hurrah.
Pike has had another big year, his 50 wins of the term putting him fifth on the national trainer's ladder and just two wins behind Team Pitman in third so a podium spot in the premiership is still possible.
But like many of the elite trainers, Pike doesn't fancy winter racing or the horses who do, which is why the new synthetic track at his home base of Cambridge has been a godsend for some of his charges.
"I think it has been superb for the horses who race in those grades and I am thrilled we have it," explains Pike.
"But it isn't ideal for all horses, not because of the surface, but because of what you are trying to achieve with them longer term or horses who are real Saturday horses and deserve to be racing for the bigger stakes."
They are two reasons Pike will take a big team north to Ruakaka where the northern track starts a circuit that will see them race three Saturdays in a month to provide better gallopers their best chance at decent turf footing.
Pike also has a small team campaigning in Queensland, which is a lot further to go to find firm footing and also proving to be a harder place to win although the stable has had a handful of placings from a largely luckless campaign.
"A lot of our better horses are already spelling because of the wet tracks and for some of the others going to Ruakaka this week could be their last race of the season.
"We will have the odd wet track specialist still going around and maybe eight for the synthetic races over the winter but things really start to slow up soon, maybe even after this weekend."
Witsabouthim (R4, No3), who contests the $25,000 three-year-old race which could provide one of the highlights of tomorrow's programme, fits the Ruakaka profile.
"He is a horse we think a lot of but he is still learning," Pike says of the stunning last-start winner.
"So he deserves to be here racing for Saturday stakes and with a horse like him he will work his way through the grades if he isn't sold first and that last possibility is another reason to keep him to the grass races."
Witsabouthim flew late from a tricky position to win last start after being luckless on debut so alongside Whetu (2) and Mongolian Wings (1) he headlines a handy race.
Pike rates Precious Colours (R3, No6) one of his other best chances tomorrow, with the filly a rare daughter of Australian sire sensation I Am Invincible racing in New Zealand.
"She has taken some time to strengthen but she is getting there now and surely her first win can't be far away."
A horse Pike was keen on on Saturday before he saw the draws was Bentayga (R9, No4) who drew 16 and looks set to get little relief from that as most of the emergencies likely to be scratched are drawn outside him.
"He is very close to a win and had no luck last start so I gave him a great chance this week until he drew that wide."
The best version of the Pike-trained Cyber Attack (R8, No9) could win the open sprint and he does enough to keep dragging punters in.
But the reality if he hasn't won a race for over two years, remarkable for a horse who once beat Verry Elleegant at Te Rapa and two starts later won the Meads Trophy at Hastings.
The sprint, with so many jump-and-run types drawn wide, should be a fun watch while the claimers give the topweights plenty of help in the open staying handicap, with all three claiming down to enormously compress the weight scale.