Sunday’s Grand National Steeplechase may be forced to move from the Ballarat Turf Club to Warrnambool if another heavy downpour renders the Miners Rest track unusable.
The club has been working overtime to ensure the home straight is ready for the event, with covers and marquees being used to cover the straight over the past month.
While up-to 15-millimetres of rain is expected on Friday, covers are due to be rolled out on Thursday night to protect the surface.
However the event could still be shifted if the current forecast of 2-6mm on Sunday is changed.
Ballarat Turf Club chief executive Lachlan McKenzie said while Racing Victoria would make the final call, the club had done everything in their power to ensure the track was in good condition.
“We can only base our decisions on the information at hand, and that information suggests an 80 per cent chance of 2-6mm of rain on Sunday.
“At the moment the track looks great and if the race was to be held today it would be fantastic.”
While the track has been given the thumbs up from high-profile jumps jockeys such as Steven Pateman, Tom Ryan, Paul Hamblin and John Allen, Racing Victoria jumps racing manager Paul Bloodworth said there had been mixed views on the state of the track.
Bloodworth said a final decision on the event’s location would be made on Friday, but the event would only be shifted in there was a dramatic change in the forecast.
“Like any track there’s mixed opinions, but the majority of the feedback has been positive, especially from the riders,” Bloodworth said.
“We’re not really concerned about the rain on Friday due to the covers, so it’s really just if the forecast for Sunday changes.
“If the forecast for Sunday changes to something between 10 and 15mm we will have to have to a serious think about where it is held.”
The event was originally due to run for two days at the Miners Rest facility, however day one of the carnival was forced to shift to Horsham due to concerns the track would not be able to withstand two consecutive days of racing.
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