Wind smashes turf club race rails with jump-outs still completed

QUICK repair works helped Ballarat Turf Club continue club jump-outs after a crashing start on Tuesday morning.

Tree debris is cleared away at the turf club.

Tree debris is cleared away at the turf club.

Four trials were complete when the storm front hit Dowling Forest, with high winds smashing through about 100 metres of the running rail along the back straight.

Jump-outs were moved to the all-weather hill track where one tree had fallen but, in less than an hour, turf club staff had cut away the obstruction and fixed the rail to allow trials to continue.

Ballarat Turf Club chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said the hard work had been much appreciated.

“Trainers were very happy because 99 per cent of the time when a storm hits, trials are abandoned,” McKenzie said.

“The hill track is an all-weather track and even though there was one tree there, we could clear it away and have the trials started.”

Ballarat had about 115 horses booked in for the session, including horses based in Caulfield and Kyneton.

The storm hit about 8am and McKenzie said even if there had been no damage to the railing with fallen trees, the condition of the grass track where trials had started would have been unsuitable due to the heavy rainfall.