The start of the Mid North Coast's $1,850,000 cups racing season faltered when jockeys deemed the track was unsafe at Tuncurry-Forster's Gold Cup TAB meeting on Friday.
Four races were run before the meeting was called off due to track problems in the straight.
The last four races, one which was the $34,000 Gold Cup over 2100m,were abandoned on the $202,000 prizemoney meeting, the first of a run of major cup meetings in the next two months at Taree, Port Macquarie and Kempsey.
Taree trainer Tony Ball had saddled up last start winner Are We Good for the next race when the decision was made.
Racing is also suffering in having no crowds or limited patrons to meetings due to the COVID 19 restrictions.
The next important meeting is at Port Macquarie on September 26 where $178,000 prizemoney is up for grabs, the feature event being the $34,000 Port Cup Prelude over 1800m, the first two place getters being exempt from ballot for the $200,000 Cup over 2000m on October 8.
The Friday cup meeting offers $500,000 prizemoney, plus trophies, and is backed up by another TAB meeting the next day worth $168,000.
Then its Manning Valley Race Club's turn with the running of the $34,000 Krambach Cup at a TAB meeting boasting $202,000 prizemoney on October 15 at Taree.
On November 5 the Kempsey Jockey Club has its cup meeting at Kempsey, the cup over 1450m is worth $40,000 on a card with $252,000 prizemoney.
Manning Valley Race Club's $345,000 Taree Cup meeting, the cup being over 2000m and worth $100,000 plus trophies, Is on November 21, the first time it has a new date from the normal August one.
Ball said most trainers had their gallopers destined for the cup meetings in work and are looking forward to being among some of the rich prizemoney.
He said the Bowraville Cup meeting on Saturday is bound to be enriched by many of the gallopers unable to get a start at Tuncurry.
In related news, Ball has changed race plans for his promising five-year-old gelding Standing Bear which is chasing a start in The Kosciuszko race, worth $1.3m, at Royal Randwick on October 16.
He will be nominating his gelding at the second day of the Newcastle Gold Cup meeting on Saturday after initially looking at a Wyong meet.
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