RACING: Cup abandoned as rain takes toll
RACING: The showcase Ballina Cup meeting has been abandoned following recent rainfall in the region.
It becomes the second Northern Rivers Racing Association meeting to be abandoned inside a week, and is the second time the meeting has been lost this year.
With more than 100mm failing on the course and continuing to fall, surface water was present over the majority of the track with little chance of improving sufficiently to permit racing by today.
It is a major blow for the Ballina Jockey Club, which had initially planned to not hold a Cup meeting with drainage works and a track upgrade planned earlier this year.
But those works were put on hold, which opened up the opportunity for the Cup, only for it again to be washed away.
Ballina secretary-manager Matt Bertram said the club would now work with Racing NSW to schedule the Showcase prizemoney for a meeting later in the calendar year.
"We'll have to wait and see what the board and Racing NSW come up with. We'll be in consultation with them as to whether we have a Cup meeting or whether we can schedule something else,” he said.
"We do have Friday TAB meeting in December where we could transfer the Showcase races to. That would be a profitable day for everyone but it also still depends on what happens with the track drainage redevelopment.”
It will be a tough development to bear for Grafton trainer Neville Stewart, who had Casino Cup challenger Push The Sky Away as an emergency in the Slipway Hotel Ballina Cup (1600m) feature.
Fellow Grafton trainer Scott Henley also had several live chances accepted for the meeting, including exciting three-year-old gelding Boyles, who impressed on his stable debut with a third-placed finish at Grafton last month.
Industry attention will now focus on the upcoming Lismore Cup meeting on September 20, while Grafton will race next Thursday, September 13.