Armidale fit for ducks but not horses and Eels

ARMIDALE Jockey Club could transfer yesterday’s washed- out meeting to another date but club secretary Jim Dedes doesn’t think it possible.

Continuing rain forced the abandonment of yesterday’s meeting although it was officially listed as “postponed”.

“It’s still pouring up here,” Dedes said yesterday morning.

“We had 40mm overnight and another 20mm this morning. 

“We’ve had about 70 to 80mm since last Wednesday and something like 150mm in nine days.

“At one stage we were having the hottest and driest January on record, now it’s the wettest.

“We were no chance of racing and it’s been postponed. 

“It’s up to Racing NSW to see if they can fit it somewhere but I don’t think there is any spots for us.

“Tamworth races Friday and then Bingara (Cup) Saturday. 

“At the moment I’d say we’re most likely abandoned.”

“It would have been a ripper of a meeting too,” he said.

“Having a public holiday and no metro meeting on as well would have meant we’d have had a big crowd and good turnover as well.”

He did have the “Parramatta boys” attending the meeting for a social afternoon but that changed.

“We might go to the St Kilda Hotel for a bit of a sportsman’s afternoon,” Dedes said.

That’s exactly what the Eels coaching staff did, enjoying a relaxing time with Dedes and under the hospitality of licensee Harley and his staff.

The Eels coaching staff flew in a day early to initially enjoy a day at the Armidale Jockey Club’s Walcha Cup Prelude meeting but, when that was called off, had a quick rearrangement of their afternoon activities following lunch with Northern Tablelands MP Richard Torbay and CEO of the UNE’s Sports Business Development Unit David Schmude.

 Schmude said UNE’s sponsorship deal with the Eels was the only one of its ilk in tertiary institutions and a huge benefit for UNE and Armidale.

The Eels players fly in today to begin a training camp at UNE as well as attending a number of coaching sessions for local junior players and social functions during the week.

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