It may have been welcoming news when several Central West regional storms were reported late last Friday, but the rain was just enough to call a halt to the annual picnic races at Tullibigeal the following day.
"The rain has been fantastic for everybody, but while Tully itself seemed to miss any major rain, it was just enough to make the track a bit slippery in spots," Tullibigeal Picnic Race Club president Craig Tyack, who lives at nearby Lake Cargelligo, said.
"Safety comes first."
Under blue skies with cool windy conditions, several jockeys and trainers had already arrived on track only to hear the races had been abandoned.
I asked some of the jockeys what they had in mind for the rest of the day, since the races were called off.
Paula Heath from Spring Ridge near Tamworth was off to do some sightseeing.
"I might even go to The Dish (at Parkes)," she said.
Jody Hughes, Wagga Wagga said "I'm not sure, but I will enjoy the day."
Bathurst's Michael Gray and Wyong's Steven Kehoe were going to make their way home separately, but not before they stopped at McDonalds for something to eat.
Alan Barton, Gulgong said "I will call into a pub somewhere, and I know that Ricky Blewitt (from Narromine) will also, as we are travelling together."
A tiny farming community about an hour and a half south-west of Condobolin and 40 minutes east of Lake Cargelligo, Tullibigeal races drew a huge crowd of about 800 people, including campers and already organised bus loads of people who stayed on to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Interstate bookmakers, fashions on the field, foot races, and children's activities kept the crowd entertained.
Cash prizes were awarded for the Well Ways Golden Gumboot Colts and Fillies Footraces, sponsored by Well Ways - a mental health organisation which serves the Murrumbidgee region, and the local Newham and Sons Agricultural Consulting.
Winning three races at last year's Tully picnics, John Rolfe from Canberra had arrived trackside with two horses.
"Oh well there is always next week," John reflected.
"It's about four and a half hours drive from Canberra, so I will give them (horses) a rest, then drive home; then maybe Cootamundra picnics."
Mr Tyack said "While the races are off, it is great to see the crowd staying on."
"it is just one big party."
Fireworks at Easter Sales' extravaganza
Recent Group 1 wins by Australia's leading three-year-old male, The Autumn Sun, has shone the spotlight on his younger three-quarter-brother, which will prove to be a million dollar plus horse when offered for sale at Inglis' Australian Easter Yearling Sale next week.
Scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at Inglis Riverside Stables, Warwick Farm, the sale has 450 listed lots - The Autumn Sun relation a major highlight on the second day.
A three-year-old colt by recently deceased champion Redoute's Choice, The Autumn Sun has won eight of nine starts and more than $3.5m, and is set to join the stallion roster at his sire's former home at Arrowfield Stud, Scone, next season.
Arrowfield has 55 catalogued entries - about 12 per cent of the catalogue. Among its highlights is The Autumn Sun relation, a colt by their leading Redoute's Choice sire Not A Single Doubt, and from Irish bred Galileo mare Azmiyna.
While only represented with one yearling at the sale, Monarch Stud - operated by Kieran Falvey near Muswellbrook - had exciting news. The colt (by first crop sire Kermadec), is a half-brother to triple winner Tropezina, an Epaulette filly who added the hotly contested Inglis Dash at Flemington earlier this year.
Next country champ crowned on Saturday
Randwick will be bolstered this Saturday by a massive country representation at day one of The Championships, with the running of the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championship Final.
Such was the dominance to take the $50,000 Wildcard race at Muswellbrook, Queanbeyan trained Noble Boy is sure to start favourite.
Over the weekend Hillston will hold its annual cup meeting, further east the Cootamundra Picnics are scheduled on the same day. Meanwhile the two-day Wellington Boot Carnival and the Gundagai Cup meeting will also take place.