Dubbo Turf Club general manager Sam Fitzgerald says it's devastating Wellington Race Club has missed out on another meeting but he's happy to host it's feature event this week.
After the running of the $100,000 Wellington Cup was abandoned for a third time on Sunday, it has been added to the program for Dubbo's meeting on Friday.
A field similar to the stellar one originally set for Sunday is expected, with the likes of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Annabel Neasham and Kris Lees all aiming to impress and take one of the two qualifying spots on offer for November's $2 million Big Dance.
Despite a downpour on Monday afternoon, Fitzgerald is confident the Dubbo track will be well-placed to ensure the cup is run on Friday after it was initially cancelled twice in March due to rain.
"Obviously as a race club your heart breaks for Wellington, who firstly lost their feature meeting in the Wellington Boot carnival and then having the cup rescheduled to the weekend and losing that," he said.
"It's devastating for a club like Wellington but, certainly, we're happy to do our part for the industry and get the race run on Friday so we can ay some prizemoney to owners and participants and also give people the opportunity to see a really high-quality race."
The cup was to headline Sunday's meeting at Wellington but after the first race of the day some jockeys raised concerns about the state of the track, leading to the abandonment of the other eight events.
The cup has been moved to Friday at Dubbo while the seven other races will be run at Cowra on Wednesday.
Nominations for the 1600m cup were opened again on Tuesday and preference will be given to those horses originally accepted for Sunday.
A new barrier draw for the feature, which will now be run over 1600m rather than 1700m, will take place on Wednesday.
"Being a qualifier for the Big Dance, it attracts a lot of people from the bigger stables so we're anticipating that a lot will keep coming west and race their horses on Friday," Fitzgerald added.
Friday's meeting will also offer trainers targeting the Silver Goblet two-year-old feature and Winter Country Classic qualifiers the following Friday at Dubbo one last hit-out.
Another strong 224 nominations were received for the day's other eight events.
"We're probably the beneficiaries of some meetings being washed out but certainly the way our track has been racing and how it's handled the wet weather, it's a credit to our track staff and our club that we keep having these strong nominations every meeting," Fitzgerald said.
The club general manager described the track surface as "excellent" but was hopeful there wouldn't be too much more rain in the lead-up to Friday's meeting.
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