Wet track races threat

LISMORE Turf Club would be in good company if it was forced to call off today's season-opening race meeting at the 11th hour.

Widespread rain has forced the cancellation or postponement of races from Goulburn to the Gold Coast in the past few days.

At Lismore, chief steward Bill Fanning conducted an inspection of the track late yesterday and declared the meeting would go ahead, on a heavy track, as long as there wasn't any further rain overnight.

But should the heavens open up again, a further inspection will be carried out at about 6.30am today and a decision made then.

“The stewards are happy that the track will be safe to race on as long as we don't get any more rain,” Michael Timbrell, club secretary, said.

“The track is soft, you can feel that it is waterlogged and is squelchy in some areas, and those are the areas that are of some concern to us.

“You can't race on a track with any surface water because it gets kicked up into the faces of jockeys and horses and affects their vision.

“It would only take about half an inch of rain and I doubt whether we will race." Today's meeting is the first in a run of six that have been billed as Lismore's 'autumn racing carnival'.

“We don't race in January because it is generally too hot, but there is always a risk that you can get a rain-affected track in January and February because it is our wet season,”

Racegoers can contact the club on 6621 3176 after 7am if they are in any doubt about the meeting going ahead.



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