Saturday, 17th March, 2012
Organisers upbeat despite drenching
By Kurtis Eichler
Despite a torrential downpour flooding the racecourse yesterday, organisers are confident today’s St Pat’s race meeting will go on.
The normally dry, red dirt track was inundated after it started raining on Thursday night and continued yesterday afternoon.
As the skies cleared, workers began to drain the track and organisers’ confidence was restored.
“Everything’s looking really good at the moment,” secretary manager Cheryl Krutli told the BDT.
“If we have another inch of rain overnight that may cause some problems.
“Marg and I are now not shedding any tears and we’ll be alright.
Earlier the committee called an emergency meeting with Dubbo and local race stewards to decide how to proceed.
“The stewards will conduct a track inspection (at 7am this morning) in accordance with racing regulations,” vice president Andrew Schmidt said.
“The decision whether we race or not is entirely in the hands of Racing NSW stewards.”
However, the St Pat’s meeting will still be held even if the races themselves are called off and bookmakers and the Tote will cover interstate races.
Interstate stewards arrived late in the day to inspect the track before trainers took their horses for a walk around the course.
Chief steward Trevor Odgers said he was “hopeful”.
“It looks a whole lot better than it did at 9am this morning.”
Later in the day Mr Odgers said on ABC Radio that he was now 75 per cent sure racing would get the go-ahead today.
Zia Zan’s trainer, Wayne Prisk, said the track wasn’t looking “too bad” and that he thought the races would go ahead.
“I’m confident to say that,” Mr Prisk said.
“I was here last year and it was nothing like last year.”
Strapper Andrew Menz whose seven-year-old gelding The Shinboner is in the fifth race said he would be very disappointed if there was no races.
The South Australian from Virginia was here last year when the meeting was washed out.
“It’s so weird because normally it’s hot and windy,” he said.