Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2018 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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PICTURE: Gavin Gibbens
A bunch of resourceful youths showed that even heavy black clouds have a sliver lining, as they found Greymouth’s new ‘swimming pool’ at the
skatepark. The skating bowl was re-purposed as a hydroslide with young people sliding off it into waist deep water yesterday afternoon.
Friday, January 12, 2018
As warm sunshine broke out this
morning the Kumara Racing Club
was standing by the decision to call
off its big race day tomorrow.
Club president Patrick Meates said
he had spoken to the stipendiary
stewards this morning and it was
clear to them the track needed time
“More rain is forecast as well.
When we checked the rain that had
fallen overnight Wednesday to 4pm
yesterday there was 132mm, and
from 4pm yesterday to this morning
another 92mm had fallen.”
The track was too water soaked to
continue safely, Meates said.
Although the latest forecast is for
patchy rain tomorrow, the Metservice
today cancelled the heavy rain
warning it had issued earlier.
After the call was made yesterday
morning to abandon the meeting, the
Reefton Racing Club offered to host
the Kumara club at their course but
the offer was not taken up.
Meates said the matter was brought
up with the stipendiary stewards and
was not pursued as it might have
impacted on the Reefton gallops
scheduled for Tuesday.
Reefton is the last race meeting in the
New Year West Coast circuit, which
has so far seen only the Greymouth
Jockey Club race, with Hokitika and
Kumara both abandoned.
Reefton Racing Club president
Brian Molloy said he could
understand why the offer was not
“Calling off early saves money, say
$40,000 on catering and racebooks,
whereas if you call it off on the day
you incur costs.
“If they had come to Reefton they
might have reduced costs, but income
would be down. It was a sensible call
on their part.”
Feedback he had received from
horse owners and trainers who had
lost the chance to earn stake money at
Hokitika and then Kumara was one
of extreme frustration.
At least 140 horses have been
brought to the West Coast to race,
from Pukekohe down to Invercargill.
“It has cost them an average of
$2000 a horse to come here for the
four-day racing carnival.
“Now they ’ve missed two days of
Molloy said the risk was that horse
owners and trainers might not come
back for the West Coast circuit next
year. It could be twice bitten third
“My worry is there will be fewer
numbers next year, and if they do
come back it will be to Kumara, with
Reefton missing out.
“It’s frustrating for the general
public, too but if there’s rain
tomorrow it’s health and safety.
Vision is affected and it’s about horse
and jockey welfare, not just surface
The Reefton Racing Club has
added extra races to its programme
on Tuesday to help make up for the
Kumara and Hokitika cancellations.
These include a $30,000 open
handicap over 2000m to replace the
Kumara Gold Nuggets.
“It will be the most valuable race of
The other feature race will be the
$26,000 Evelyn Carran Memorial
Reefton Cup open sprint over 1400m.
“We hope for a big day ... (but) we
don’t expect a massive crowd,” Molloy
The loss of the Hokitika and Kumara
race meetings comes at a big cost for
visiting horse owners and trainers.
Winton trainer Kelvin Tyler brought
six horses to the West Coast looking to
capitalise on the circuit of Greymouth,
Hokitika, Kumara and Reefton.
“I own five of the horses myself and
we have travelled a long way, a two-
day trip for us,” Tyler said.
“It’s disappointing Kumara was
called off so early — too soon — and
Hokitika was called off because of the
state of the track,which was caused by
human error. That ’s now two years in
a row Kumara has been called off —
someone’s not doing their job.
“Hokitika and Kumara stuffs up a lot
of people and already I have a $3000
accommodation bill,” Tyler said.
However, he will have his team
racing at Reefton on Tuesday.
“I brought all wet trackers up for the
circuit, but despite the two meetings
being called off I will look at coming
back next year — I like the lifestyle
and hospitality of the West Coast.”
Riccarton trainer Andrew Carson
was philosophical about the two
“ It ’s not ideal but when mother
nature dishes out 200mm of rain in
less than three days, no track in New
Zealand could cope with that,” Carson
“ It ’s just one of those things and I
don’t get upset about it. I brought
seven horses over and based them on
the West Coast but I’ve sent them
home to Riccarton today. Most will
stay there now but I will still bring
another team across to Reefton.
“As I said, mother nature has a mind
of her own. That ’s racing, it’s not ideal
but it certainly doesn’t put me off
coming to race on the West Coast. ”
by call to cancel
A proposal for the Westland and
Kumara racing clubs to run a special
combined meeting at the Riccarton
Racecouse in Christchurch to make
up for their cancelled meetings is far
too early to consider seriously, officials
from both clubs say.
Westland Racing Club president
Gray Eatwell said it had not been
discussed by his club and he doubted
the idea would get traction.
“O ur emphasis is on local racing;
just having it for the sake of having it
is not the goal,” Eatwell said.
“A lot has been said by the racing
industry about what we should and
shouldn’t do but we just want them
to know you can’t do much about the
weather. You have meetings all over
the country being cancelled. Some
have said it (cancelling is due to lack
of maintenance; that ’s not accurate,
especially when you look at the big
tracks which are affected by the same
Kumara Racing Club president
Patrick Meates said the Riccarton
idea came up at meeting when they
were making other decisions.
“ It could be revisited when the dust
settles, but it would have to involve
Riccarton and a lot of people. They ’ve
got their own races going on as well. ”
Riccarton proposal too early for Hokitika and Kumara
... Disappointing, but no
controlling mother nature
Argentine tennis star Juan Martin
del Potro has set up a blockbuster
ASB Classic semi-final against
Spanish veteran David Ferrer,
winning last night’s quarter- final 7-6
(7-4), 6-3 against prodigious Russian
In what proved a sterner test than
his first-up victory against the equally
youthful Denis Shapovalov, del Potro
dominated all of the key moments.
He cruised through a first-set
tiebreaker after both he and the big-
hitting Khachanov failed to break
ser ve, before seizing the initiative in
the second set.
Taking a 3-0 lead, he ser ved his way
to victory, banging 11 aces and nailing
73% of his first ser ves against a valiant
but imprecise Khachanov.
The 29-year-old del Potro, an ex-
US Open champion and the 2009
Classic winner, will now face another
Auckland ex-champion in Ferrer.
Rejuvenated after a tough 2017
campaign, the 35-year-old Ferrer
Korean young gun Hyeon Chung
6-3, 6-2 .
The two tour veterans last played in
2016, when del Potro knocked Ferrer
out of the US Open in straight sets,
and previously at Wimbledon in
“ We’ve played many matches on
tour — his forehand is pretty good,
ser ves are good and returns so well, so
I must be smart,” the world No 12 del
“He’s a great champion of this sport
and everybody enjoys watching his
games so it doesn’t matter, my ranking
or his ranking, it’ ll be interesting to
watch. I’ll have to run even more
against David but it ’s a good challenge
for me, to see how my body is before
an important event like the Australian
Open. I’m very focused to reach the
On the other side of the draw,
Ferrer’s compatriot Roberto Bautista
Agut appears a safe bet for the final,
drawn for a semi-final against Robin
Bautista Agut coasted into today’s
semi-finals with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2
win over Czech Jiri Vesely, while
Haase trumped giant-killing German
Peter Gojowczyk. “ The conditions
were difficult and he was a difficult
opponent, ser ving very well and a lefty,
playing with a very flat backhand,”
Bautista Agut said. — NZN
New Zealand doubles specialist
Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen have
sur vived a white-knuckle ASB Classic
quarter-final ride to defeat Pole Marcin
Matkowski and Pakistani Aisam-
Ul-Haq Qureshi 4-6, 6-4, (10-4).
Falling 6-4 in the first set, Venus and
Klaasen clinched a see-sawing second
set with plenty of adventurous play and
sent the match into tiebreak.
They duly raced out to an 8-2 tiebreak
lead on the back of several unforced
Matkowski and Qureshi errors, and held
their ner ve to triumph.
“They ser ved big and we were
struggling to get in some of their ser vice
games, so we just tried a few different
things and found a few things that gave
us a look, and then our game really rose
and we played a great tie-break,” Venus
Having dispatched the reigning
Classic doubles champions, Venus and
the South African Klaasen will face Max
Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald in the semis.
Belarusian Mirnyi and Austrian
Oswald, second-round vanquishers of
New Zealander Marcus Daniell and his
partner, earned a walkover into today’s
Classic semi-finals after opponents
Pablo Cuevas and Horacio Zeballos
Venus and Klaasen — a relatively new
pairing after Venus’ 2017 French Open
triumph with Ryan Harrison — are
seeded second in the doubles.
“Anyone we play at this stage of the
tournament will be playing well, so we
need to execute, work on our game,” the
30-year-old Venus said.
“ You can practise together all the time
but you learn the most when you’re out
there earning points — it’s been great
for us to have two great-quality
In today ’s other doubles semi-final, top
seeds Mate Pavic and Oliver Marach
will take on the third-seeded Santiago
Gonzalez and Julio Peralta. Venus’ New
Zealand compatriot Artem Sitak was
previously eliminated. — N Z N
ASB TENNIS CLASSIC
Venus through to
Classic glory inches closer
Juan Martin del Potro
Storm leaves new swimming hole
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