Group One meeting to Te Rapa

By: Paul Vettisse

Saturday's premier meeting at te Aroha has been transferred to Te Rapa.

The highlight of the fixture will be the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.

Concerns over the Te Aroha course following the abandonment of a meeting there on March 17 resulted in a track inspection and gallops on Monday morning.

Six horses from the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards stable worked together and spread out in the home straight to enable a comprehensive assessment of the likely track condition on race day. The riders involved included senior jockeys Cameron Lammas and Michael McNab.

Visual observations of the gallop showed the track was cutting out and the riders expressed concerns with the consistency of the surface and the extent to which it had cut out.

The track was inspected after the gallop by a group that included McNab, Lammas, Autridge, course manager Graeme Amies, club officials and stipendiary stewards John Oatham, Warwick Robinson and Brady Jones.

The inspection committee deemed that Saturday's meeting should not be run at Te Aroha, with the decision influenced particularly by the inconsistent nature of the track and also by the unfavourable forecast for the area for the next few days.

Nominations for Saturday's meeting at Te Rapa will be taken on Tuesday.

TRAC general manager Jen Evans said that while it was disappointing that Racing Te Aroha's flagship meeting would not be held on its home track, the transfer was the logical decision under the circumstances.


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