TORRENTIAL rain forced the postponement of the traditional grass trial curtain-raiser to the season at Sha Tin yesterday. Six revealing heats down the immaculate 1,000-metre chute had been eagerly anticipated, but only a delayed first batch was dispatched as the driving rain reduced visibility to little more than 200 metres. The grass trials will now be redrawn and take place on Friday. 'There was a suggestion we should try another trial this morning, but there was really no point,' Racing manager John Ridley said. 'The rain was far too heavy and it wouldn't have done the track any good at all. 'I stood there and watched the storm coming down the valley above Sha Tin and was hoping that it would just sit there as it sometimes does. 'But it burst right as the first runner was coming on to the track for the start of the trials.' Ridley plans to recall for runners on Thursday and run the trials again on Friday. 'It means that trainers actually get an extra trial on the grass,' he pointed out. Horse of the Year, Makarpura Star, was the biggest name to have his hitout on the grass delayed. Trainer John Moore reports his stable star in excellent shape for the season ahead where his main mission is an ambitious attempt at two of Australia's main Group One events, Flemington's 2,000-metre Caulfield Stakes followed by the W. S. Cox Plate over 2,040 metres at Moonee Valley. Both these races attract habitually strong Group One fields with the Cox Plate regarded by many at Australia's premier weight-for-age contest. Former local champion River Verdon finished 11th of 14 in the race last season. 'He will leave on September 26 and return in late October,' Moore said yesterday. 'He's very forward and very well in himself and will have a run in the first Class One mile handicap of the season before he goes.' Moore confirmed that Makarpura Star, who appeared to doss through the run when dead-heating with stablemate Survey King in last season's finale, the Champions and Chater Cup, will be fitted with blinkers for his races this time round. But there is no decision yet on who will ride him in Australia. Tony Cruz, his regular partner, will not be making the journey and Moore added: 'I will be looking at jockeys like Mick [Dittman] or Patrick Payne.'