The revamped Newcastle track has been given the thumbs up from jockeys who say it has stood up exceptionally well to host the Newmarket Handicap meeting despite heavy rain.
Josh Parr, sweating on first emergency Chauffeur gaining a start in Saturday's Golden Slipper at Rosehill, won the opening race and was impressed with how the new surface coped with the wet.
"It's not chopping out at all. It gets a big thumbs up," Parr said.
Friday's meeting is the first feature program at the track since its $11 million redevelopment.
While Rosehill is rated in the heavy range ahead of Saturday's Slipper meeting, Newcastle raced on a soft six after more than 15mm of rain on Friday morning.
Jockey Corey Brown could not fault the new surface.
"There's a bit of water in it but underfoot it feels absolutely perfect," Brown said.
By Mandy Cottell
NEWCASTLE, March 17 AAP