Weather forces programming Victorian changes
03 Jul 2012 | Wednesday's metropolitan meeting at Sandown will not proceed due to the condition of the track as a result of on-going rain.
Accordingly, Racing Victoria (RV) has elected to transfer the six flat races to Kilmore where they will be run with the fields and prize money as programmed from 1.15pm.
The three jumps scheduled for Sportingbet Park have been abandoned and a new jumping and highweights meeting has been created at Warrnambool on Saturday, 7 July.
This new seven-race card will see the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase (3400m) and $100,000 Kevin Lafferty Hurdle (3600m) reinstated after their abandonment last Sunday at Warrnambool. All jumps races will be run on the course proper as the Brierly Paddock is too wet for racing.
“Unfortunately on-going rain has made the track at Sportingbet Park unsafe for racing tomorrow and thus we are unable to proceed with the meeting as programmed,” RV Racing Operations Manager, Paul Bloodworth, said.
“Due to a combination of existing racing commitments, track renovations and the impacts of wet weather there was not a suitable transfer venue to take both the flat and jumps races so we have had to split the two.
“Our priority, as always, is to transfer to a turf venue and Kilmore was the most suitable to accept the flat races given its proximity to the metropolitan region and the condition of the racing surface which is currently a Slow 7.
“It should be noted that the Geelong Synthetic track is undergoing routine maintenance this week ahead of its meeting on Friday so it was not considered as a transfer venue.”
In addition to the reinstated $100,000 features, the new Warrnambool meeting will contain a $20,000 Maiden Hurdle (3200m) and $30,000 0-120 Steeplechase (3400m), along with three $12,000 highweight flat races for jumps jockeys being a 1700m Maiden, 1200m 0-62 and 2000m 0-62.
Nominations for all races have been opened and will close at 12 noon tomorrow, 4 July. Weights will then be released at 3pm tomorrow, with acceptances for the meeting taken at 9am on Thursday, 5 July.
Bloodworth said the creation of the new Warrnambool meeting was important to provide a lead-up to this month’s Grand Nationals – the grand finals of the jumping season – at Sportingbet Park on 15 and 29 July.
“Mother Nature has now forced the abandonment of three jumps meetings in the past month and with the Grand Nationals looming it’s important that we provide appropriate racing opportunities for horses and participants,” Bloodworth said.
“The only opportunity to do this, and ensure an appropriate break before Sunday week’s Grand National Hurdle meeting, is this Saturday where a window existed in our racing calendar.
“We understand this clashes with a hurdle race in Adelaide and have consulted with Thoroughbred Racing SA, but our priority is to provide racing opportunities for the majority of our jumping participants which this new meeting at Warrnambool will do.
“With the meeting scheduled for Warrnambool we are now in a position to reinstate the Club’s two feature races, the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle and Thackeray Steeplechase, and the $100,000 stake for each.”