Concerns for the safety of riders has led to the abandonment of racing at Te Rapa today.
Riders met with raceday officials following the completion of the second race on the programme after many reported they had difficulties with visibility during the event due to significant kick back on the recently re-sanded surface. The problem had been exacerbated by constant rain throughout the day which saw the track downgraded from a Slow7 to a Slow8 after the running of the first race.
Following a meeting between a delegation of riders and raceday officials the decision to abandon the meeting was taken.
Earlier in the day the Stephen Marsh trained Belle Testa scored an overdue victory courtesy of a first-class effort from the country’s leading amateur jockey, Scott Wenn.
Wenn saved ground against the rail on the Testa Rossa four-year-old throughout the 2200m contest before angling across heels to issue a challenge early in the run home. Belle Testa responded gamely when asked for an effort as she strode clear to win by a comfortable four length margin and record her third victory from just 14 starts.
Marsh was full of praise for the effort of Wenn after ensuring stable foreman Rhys Mildon secured his booking for the ride before heading off an overseas holiday.
“Rhys has gone away to Europe for a month, so I said to him his one last job was to get Scotty Wenn for the race,” he said.
“He gave it a peach of a ride.
“When you get him on it gives you a few lengths and she deserved that one.”
Marsh admitted he was happy with the mare in the lead-up to the race after a good performance for third at her most recent start.
“Her last start was good at Ruakaka, it just topped her off nicely,” he said.
“Her work had been good and this looked a perfect race for her.” – NZ Racing Desk
Belle Testa scores in the rain at Te Rapa