By David Brehaut
RACING Victoria will lighten the load on Ballarat's new track through the winter and into the spring.
Three race meetings in July, August and October have been transferred to ensure the redeveloped racing surface is not over used.
The Thursday, July 3, program has been transferred to Cranbourne; Thursday, August 28 to Cranbourne and Wednesday, October 1 to Sale.
Racing Victoria announced the more conservative schedule for a return to racing on Tuesday.
Ballarat Turf Club will have its first race meeting since the $1.5m upgrade on Sunday.
RV infrastructure and club support,executive general manager Jamie McGuiness said the decision to transfer the meetings had been made to ensure the track was not over used in the early stages.
"We have decided to take a cautious approach.
"This revised racing program will ensure race meetings in Ballarat will be run on the best surface possible between now and spring," McGuiness.
Ballarat Turf Club chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said feedback on the resurfaced track had been extremely positive.
"The resurfacing project has progressed extremely well, but as the new turf is still young it is imperative we give it every opportunity to further consolidate," he said.
"On this basis we are pleased to reduce the workload on the new turf by transferring the three meetings."
McKenzie said 4mm rainfall on Monday night had been ideal in the lead up Sunday's races.
The rail will be out six metres as part of a schedule which will see each "racing strip" used on a two-month rotation.
The true position was used for trials earlier this month.
The rotation will see the rail back in the true position for the Ballarat Cup on Saturday, November 22.
McKenzie said a bumper crowd was guaranteed for Sunday's meeting - the first since last year's Ballarat Cup in late November.
"Bookings are massive.
He said the grandstand was virtually booked out, with limited tables available for walk-ups on the day.
Pre-sold general admission is also substantial.
Nominations for Sunday:
$30,000 country showcase benchmark70 handicap, 3000m: 38
$30,000 country showcase 0-64 handicap, 1400m: 58
$17,500 2yo maiden, 1100m: 47
$17,500 3yo maiden, 1400m: 43
$17,500 maiden, 1400m: 27
$17,500 maiden, 2300m: 16
$17,500 fillies' and mares' 0-64 handicap, 1100m: 48
$17,500 0-64 handicap, 1600m: 56