Oamaru Cup rained off

Rain on a previously dry track has lead to the abandonment of today’s Oamaru Cup meeting.

Stipendiary stewards called the race day off this morning after it was apparent the Oamaru racecourse was unfit for thoroughbred racing.

That decision has not led to the scrapping of the 2019 Oamaru Cup.

Officials have made arrangements for the Oamaru Jockey Club to hold its biggest annual meeting at Ashburton on Tuesday.

Stipendiary steward Mark Davidson said the Oamaru track was simply not in a state safe enough for horses and riders today.

“There were some inconsistencies with the track that meant we could not send them around.”

Parts of the track became unsafe after rain fell on a previously dry Oamaru track.

The course was rated in a good condition early on Friday.

Metservice figures show Oamaru received 5.2mm of rain on Friday, 16.6mm on Saturday and more than 20mm this morning.

Just 5.2mm fell in the previous 27 days, which led to the Oamaru track being in such a firm state.

Davidson said it was a case of the ground being unable to cope with the heavy deluge.

“They are just unfortunate circumstances with it being so dry here.”

“The rain is not penetrating the ground, because it is so hard underneath.”

Oamaru Jockey Club president John Foley said his club would attempt to make the best of its unfortunate situation.

Early indications suggested many of the club’s supporters would travel to Ashburton on Tuesday.

“It is not ideal, but we are going to make the best of a bad situation,” Foley said.

“Hopefully Riccarton and South Canterbury people will support the meeting as well as North Otago people.”

The fields for today’s meeting would remain the same on Tuesday with all scratchings reinstated.

The $60,000 bonus for any horse that can win the Oamaru Cup and next month’s Winter Cup at Riccarton will still be up for grabs, despite the change of venue.

 

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