UK jockey George Wood and Irish apprentice Tom Sherry have seen plenty of wet tracks at home, and they were full of praise for the Newcastle Racecourse surface after riding winners on it at Saturday's transferred meeting.
Wood won on the Jason Coyle-trained Doctor Manhattan in his first ride at Newcastle, while Sherry racked up a treble to continue his flying start in Australia.
The meeting was transferred from Kembla Grange to Newcastle's world-class, sand-based course proper on Wednesday because of the predicted deluge, which forced the abandonment of Warwick Farm's Inglis Millenium program on Saturday.
Newcastle went ahead on a soft 5 and 6 surface, despite the track copping 48mm since Friday morning, then a mid-meeting downpour.
Wood has been riding out of Warwick Farm for the past month and has another three weeks before he returns to England. The 22-year-old, who has also ridden in America and Dubai, was impressed with how Newcastle handled the big wet.
"I was surprised [it went ahead] but it's the first time I've been there," Wood said.
"They did a great job and it was only slightly soft for the first few races. It was lovely.
"Then after some racing, the rain was coming down, it opened it all up and it got heavy towards the end, but they've done a great job there and I was really impressed."
Sherry, 21, took Red Notice, Dominus and On The White Turf to wins. His effort on the John Sargent-trained Dominus in race six, a 1400m maiden, came in torrential rain.
He said the Newcastle club "deserve a big pat on the back" for their surface.
"I don't think I've ever ridden in it that bad," he said of race six. "It was pretty wild there. It was heavy rain but the wind came strong too, so it was pretty tough.
"Luckily the track at Newcastle was beautiful, considering the amount of rain we had. It was obviously heavy, but they've done a tremendous job to keep it raceable."
Sherry went to 48 NSW wins, and a premiership leading 27 at provincial tracks, in his first Australian season.
"I'm thrilled. I never expected to hit the ground running like I did," he said.
"My boss, Wayne Harris, is to thank for that. I'm still shocked, having a day like yesterday.
"On The White Turf is a staying filly and she outsprinted them over 1200.
"She showed plenty of class and that was her first run back for a while.
"She has heaps of improvement in her. She's still big around the girth, so I'm sure the Freedmans will manage her well and she'll be running in way better races.
"Jason Attard's lad [Red Notice], he had a long break. He had pressure over 900m and showed a good sprint at the end.
"Mr Sargent's horse, he's still a big baby with a lot to learn. He hit the front and pricked his ears over and was running about, but he's going to improve out of sight and Mr Sargent is a genius with the staying types."
Sargent had a double when Lee Magorrian rode Get The Idea to an easy victory in the last.
Sherry, a two-kilogram claiming apprentice indentured to Mark Newnham, looks set for more success on the provincial circuit.
"I won't be riding in the city until probably next year," he said.
"My boss wants me to stay in the country and provincials and ride as many winners as I can, so it doesn't hurt my claim.
"There's still a lot to learn and experience to have before I take on the big boys."
Wood's win was his second in Australia and he hopes to return for another stint next year.
"It's a quiet time back at home, with not too much racing and not a very high standard, so I thought I'd come over here for a bit," Wood said.
"I had a bit of trouble getting my licence through initially but I've been riding for the past month now.
"I've had a couple of wins now and I'm enjoying it.
"I'm sure I'll be back next year."
Wood gave Doctor Manhattan a rails run behind the pace in the class two handicap (1600m) to open the program before the five-year-old sprinted to a one-length win.
"Jason has done a good job with him, just sweetening him up," he said.
"He's one of those horses that you never know what he's going to bring to the track, but his mind was in a good way and Jason found the right race for him.
"For a minute I thought he was boxed in a bit, but I think he quite enjoyed that. He only had to sprint for the last 100 and it suited him well."