BALLARAT-trained jumpers were among the first horses to train on the new state-of-the-art jumps lane at Ballarat Turf Club yesterday.
Dan O’Sullivan-trained Beer Garden, Viva Del Spec from the Terry and Karina O’Sullivan stable and Darren Weir’s high quality performers Gotta Take Care and Via Savoia took to the track after it was unveiled yesterday to City of Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris, Racing Victoria chief Bernard Saundrey and Racing Victoria operations manager Paul Bloodworth.
The $110,000 project funded by Racing Victoria, the state government and Ballarat Turf Club includes new EasyFix jumps, new plastic jumps wings and a track irrigation upgrade to ensure horses receive a solid grounding before and during the 2014 jumps racing season, set to begin on March 17 at Warrnambool.
“The new jumps lane features both modular hurdles and steeples and will prove to be a valuable resource for Ballarat trainers to educate horses, refine their jumping technique and add variety to training programs,” Ballarat Turf Club chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said.
“This is by far the best hurdle and steeple school at a public training centre in Australia. It further stamps Ballarat as the leading horse-training precinct in Victoria.
“It was fantastic to have leading jump jockeys including Steve Pateman, John Allen and Tom Ryan in attendance.”
McKenzie said almost 50 horses would use the jumps facility each week.