The Press

Weather wreaks havoc


The storm sweeping across New Zealand is dramatical­ly affecting race meetings.

Yesterday’s meeting at Te Aroha was abandoned due to wind damage to a grandstand and reschedule­d to be run on Monday.

A saturated New Plymouth racecourse made the surface unsafe for racing at today’s Opunake Cup meeting which has been reschedule­d for tomorrow.

Oamaru gallops tomorrow have also been abandoned due to flooding on the track and a reschedule­d meeting will be held on Wednesday.

There will be no change to the originally released Te Aroha fields and scratching­s will be re-instated but race times have been altered slightly.

‘‘Really frustratin­g,’’ said Te Aroha track manager Graeme Amies. ‘‘The track was good but we had a problem with iron hanging off the roof of a grandstand making it unsafe.’’

New Plymouth has been inundated with rain but the forecast is for improvemen­t.

‘‘We’ve had 70mm this week up until last night [Thursday] and the forecast is for another 40mm up until noon tomorrow [Saturday],’’ Taranaki Racing CEO Carey Hobbs said.

‘‘The weather is set to clear later tomorrow, we would then be good for Sunday. We needed to make a call today for the sake of everybody involved.’’

Thankfully, the rain forecast for the country’s most northern today meeting at Ruakaka wasn’t as bad as predicted and at this stage racing will proceed.

On Friday, the track was rated in the dead range but it is a safe bet the three reschedule­d meetings will be run on heavy, testing tracks.

As with Te Aroha, there will be no change to the New Plymouth fields but there will slightly altered race times, the first at noon.

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