Horses charge to the finish at Tauherenikau. It is becoming a rare sight on the course, with three meetings abandoned in the past 12 months. PHOTO/FILE

RACING

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

For the third time in 12 months a race meeting at Tauherenikau has been abandoned because of the state of the track.

Sunday’s Masterton Racing Club scheduled meeting was canned after an inspection of the track on Saturday by the Racing Integrity Board, club, and other officials.

Consistent heavy rain during the week had resulted in inconsistencies with the track surface, and the officials were unanimous in their decision to abandon the meeting.

The abandonment is a double blow for the Masterton Racing Club after last year’s meeting at Tauherenikau was called off after the first race when jockey Danielle Hirini was dislodged by her mount ‘She’s A Goddess’ near the 600m mark.

A later inspection of the track revealed a hole approximately 3m off the rail, 200mm deep and approximately 120mm in diameter.

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Then last month heavy rain forced the abandonment of the Wairarapa Racing Club’s feature Waitangi Day meeting, although racing was transferred to Hastings and held during the following week.

It is the third consecutive year that bad luck has hit the Masterton Racing Club’s annual meeting. The 2020 meeting was held behind closed doors because of covid-19 restrictions.

NZ Thoroughbred Racing has since added an extra meeting to make up for Sunday’s abandonment, with seven races scheduled for Waverley on Friday.



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