By: Mark Nowell @MarkANowell
When heavy rain drenched the entire country it was determined that the Te Aroha track would not recover in time for the meeting by the weekend, forcing the transfer of Te Aroha's prestigious Group One meeting to Te Rapa on Saturday.
The meeting was headlined with the last Group One race of the season, the $200,000 New Zealand Breeders Stakes, and the Waikato Racing Club's track staff produced a near perfect track for the special occasion.
Racing Te Aroha @ Te Rapa— Waikato Racing Club (@TeRapaRacing) April 7, 2017
Saturday 8 April
Track: Dead 5
Rail: Out 8m | No Rain pic.twitter.com/fKJgxOxQEN
During the week, Waikato Racing club's general manager, Ken Rutherford had hoped that the Te Rapa surface could get back to a Slow 7 or 8, given the "incredible" amount of rain that has fallen across the North Island.
The Te Rapa track was hit with 110mm of rain in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday morning's heavy 10 penetrometer reading. More rain fell Wednesday overnight through into Thursday morning.
With midweek meetings cancelled at Waipa and Awapuni, very few would have predicted that the track would get to a Dead5 reading.
Fine weather from Thursday afternoon through to Saturday greatly helped but through hard work by the track staff, the celebrated Te Aroha meeting went ahead with brilliant track conditions.
Often working against mother-nature, track management is a thankless job and easily criticized within the industry if things aren't perfect yet isn't applauded enough when deserved.
Te Rapa track staff include course-manager Neil Treweek (right), Stuart Cobb, Keith Melville and Damon Anaki (Absent).
Treweek will soon pass the reins onto Brad Childs.