With parts of Towac Park "dead", another two meetings have been moved from Orange's racecourse but there's hope this weekend's expected rain band sparks it back to life.
Both Orange's harness racing meets on February 2 and 9 have been moved to Bathurst, and without further rain there's a significant risk of losing the last three meetings of the year, with the next slated for February 22.
Central and Western Racing Association chairman of stewards Todd Smith said the "unprecedented" drought had taken its toll on Towac Park just as it had on the rest of Orange, with the situation bad enough across the city that level six water restrictions are a possibility as early as May.
"It's impossibly to say that if it rains this week, the track will be right in two weeks, we just don't know how it'll recover," Smith said.
Bathurst Harness Racing Club will now host Orange's two annual race meetings, including their Carnival of Cups meeting featuring the Banjo Patterson Cup, meaning Towac Park won't host the event for the first time since 2016.
"There has been no rain at all and there's no grass," Orange Harness Racing Club's President Frank McRae said.
"With no improvement, we had to make the decision early to transfer the meeting."
With the races at Orange being run on the grass and in the opposite direction to what the Standardbreds are used to, the meeting being held at Bathurst will mean that the races will be run 'normally'.
"The bigger races have always attracted some nice horses, but being held on the Bathurst track may attract more nominations and a broader range of horses who wouldn't have handled racing on the grass."
Towac Park can take some solace from the recovery of the Dubbo track, with the track not too far off the level Orange is at the moment on December 1.
While Dubbo Turf Club were able to gain access to groundwater with help of council, Smith said the turnaround was nothing short of "amazing".
"For sure, it shows how easily it can bounce back."
With up to up 100mm of rain predicted over the next six days, it could spark a rebound at the track, although Smith was wary to say it would save meets.
"We can't count the rain until it's in the rain gauge," he said.
"We'll continue to monitor it and continue to assess it.
"If we get a lot of rain and it looks good we'll give it as much time as it needs but if there's no rain in this band we'll probably look to move meets earlier rather than later."
The first meeting will be held on Sunday February 2, with a number of heats being run leading into the finals the following week.
Sunday February 9 will be the Carnival of Cups meeting, featuring the Banjo Patterson Cup for the fast class horses, which was won last year by Menangle based duo KerryAnn and Robert Morris with Smokey Quartz.
Other races on the day will include the Kriden Park Drivers Invitational and the Ladyship - Lady Drivers race for mares and fillies only, to be driven by female drivers.