More delay in using new race track after rain concerns

BALLARAT Turf Club’s long-awaited return meeting has again been put on ice.

Next Thursday’s eight-race card was transferred to Donald after the BTC track management team inspected the newly-renovated surface on Friday.

This followed overnight rain and more rain forecast before the June 19 meeting.

BTC chief executive Lachlan McKenzie said the decision - which came after the June 1 meeting was called off due to significant rain - was made in the best long-term interests of the track.

“Following the abandonment of the June 1 meeting, the Ballarat Turf Club sought advice from leading turf and soil experts that resulted in some remedial works, including deep verti-draining of the straight, being conducted on the track,” he said.

“The remedial works undertaken have shown marked improvement in the track but with rain 

forecast before Thursday, we feel its long-term interests will be best served by taking this cautious approach.”

McKenzie said it was a disappointing decision to have to make.

“It’s very disappointing for the Ballarat Turf Club and community who have been eagerly awaiting the return of racing, but we did not want to take any risks with the new track,” McKenzie said.

“We will continue to take a conservative approach with the track to ensure it best consolidates over the next 12 months to become the long term asset we know it will be for the club and industry.”

Last month, Racing Victoria transferred three meetings programmed at Ballarat in July, August and October to alternate venues to reduce the workload on the new surface.

Ballarat’s next scheduled meeting is for July 30.

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