Day At The Track

Racing - collateral damage of weather bomb

04:23 AM 21 Jun 2013 NZST
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The weather bomb dropped on New Zealand has forced a number of race meetings to be abandoned or rescheduled.

Since June 17, seven thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings have been either abandoned or transferred to other dates due to adverse weather conditions - the latest being the thoroughbred meeting scheduled for tomorrow at Trentham.

The spate of race meetings lost due to the wet weather comes just months after severe drought conditions also forced the cancellation of meetings.

New Zealand Racing Board Chief Executive Chris Bayliss said the weather had badly affected racing in March and June.

"We had drought conditions in March that resulted in some meetings being cancelled because the tracks were too hard. Now we've got the situation where some tracks are virtually underwater. The industry's been hit particularly hard this season."

Thoroughbred racing has been most affected by the challenging weather conditions. This season 17 meetings have been impacted by drought and the current wild weather - the most ever in a single season.

NZ Thoroughbred Racing said that, in the past 10 seasons, an average of 5.5 meetings were abandoned. The loss of 10 full meetings and seven partial abandonments in the 2012/13 season was particularly unusual.

NZTR is working with Regional Programming committees and clubs to provide additional racing to make up for the abandonments.

Two upcoming South Island meetings, at Waimate on June 28 and Ashburton on July 5, will offer increased prizemoney and additional races to help compensate owners affected by the abandonment of the feature meeting originally scheduled for Riccarton tomorrow.

NZTR has also programmed an additional race at Stratford on June 27 and has put in place plans to divide races at both Stratford and at Hawke's Bay on June 29 to make up for abandonment at Trentham.

WET AND WILD

Meetings affected by the weather bomb:

Thoroughbreds:

· Thursday, June 20: Oamaru JC, meeting abandoned

· Saturday, June 22: Canterbury RC, meeting abandoned

· Saturday, June 22: Otaki-Maori RC (at Trentham), meeting abandoned

Harness:

· Thursday, June 20: Forbury Park TC, transferred to June 22

Greyhounds:

· Monday, June 17: Christchurch GRC, meeting transferred June 19

· Tuesday, June 18: Otago GRC, meeting abandoned

· Friday, June 21: Christchurch GRC, meeting abandoned

For more information, please contact:

John Mitchell

Manager - Media and Government Relations

New Zealand Racing Board

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