Omakau races rescheduled

The cancellation of the Omakau races spells a disastrous start to the year for the South Island...
The cancellation of the Omakau races spells a disastrous start to the year for the South Island thoroughbred racing industry. Photo: Jonny Turner
Disaster has been averted with the rescheduling of today’s cancelled Omakau race meeting.

Officials originally called the meeting early this morning after deciding the Omakau track was not fit for racing.

The meeting will now be held on Friday.

The racing programme remains the same, but the first race has been moved forward to 12.14pm.

Today’s racing was cancelled because a wet patch of ground on the home turn of the Omakau track.

It had been monitored in the lead up to the meeting but had not dried sufficiently to be safe for racing.

Officials inspected the area and had a horse gallop on the track before a final decision was made to abandon today’s racing.

It is understood that the wet patch was caused when a time malfunctioned on the course’s irrigation system.

Had today’s meeting not been rescheduled it would have meant a disastrous start to the year for the South Island thoroughbred racing industry.

$108,000 in prize money was up for grabs on today’s nine race programme.

Just two days ago trainers and jockeys were sent packing after the Waikouaiti races were abandoned.

After only one race had been run the Waikouaiti track was deemed unsafe for racing.

The cancellation was a big financial blow for the Waikouaiti racing club.

There is also a cost for horse owners, who have to foot the bill for the cost of preparing their horses for the races.

When today’s racing was cancelled when the industry was facing the same cost. 

According to the New Zealand Racing Board, which owns and operates the TAB, 34 abandoned race meetings cost the industry $2.3million in profits over the past racing season.

Add a Comment