Tamworth Racecource: Friday's TAB meeting moved to Scone over safety concerns

WET BLANKET: Punters won't be seeing action at Tamworth on Friday, after the scheduled meeting was moved to Scone. Photo: Peter Hardin
WET BLANKET: Punters won't be seeing action at Tamworth on Friday, after the scheduled meeting was moved to Scone. Photo: Peter Hardin

The Tamworth TAB meeting scheduled for Friday has been transferred to Scone due to the unsafe condition of the track following recent rain, with the Tamworth Jockey Club working with drainage experts to find a solution to the problem so the “very disappointing” situation is not repeated.

The abandonment of the meeting at Tamworth follows the previous meeting at the track, on July 29, being called off after three races due safety concerns following rain.

Commenting on the latest issue, Shane Cullen, Hunter North West Racing Association chief steward, said it was “disappointing to move the meeting but it was a safety issue”.

“The section between the 900m and 300m was unsatisfactory to conduct a meeting,” Cullen said. “It hasn’t dried and with the heavy dew over night, it has deteriorated.

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“It’s disappointing it’s come to this but hopefully it will be rectified before we go into the next wet season.”

Safety first is also a major concern for respected Tamworth trainer Sue Grills. While she is disappointed to have a home meeting moved, she is more than happy to race at Scone.

“It’s [Scone] a good track and we have had a lot of good luck there,” she said.

She said trainers being given early notice about the cancellation meant they could easily make travel arrangements.

The safety of jockeys and horses are our main priority.

Kay Jeffrey

Grills has six runners nominated for Scone, although she will probably only start five.

The Tamworth Jockey Club is currently working with Racing NSW and drainage consultants to find a solution to the problem, said TJC general manager Kay Jeffrey. “The safety of jockeys and horses are our main priority,” she said.

“Our track staff have been working tirelessly since receiving rain on Monday to get the track ready to race.

“Although we are very disappointed to have the meeting transferred, we are looking forward to a great day’s racing at Scone tomorrow [Friday] – raising money for our local drought-affected farmers with the Furney’s Friday Farmers Flanno race day.”

TJC president Greg Birtles said the club is “looking at all options available” to “rectify this situation”.