GAWLER & Barossa Jockey Club has been forced to relocate its Anzac Day race meeting to Murray Bridge, due to concerns regarding its track condition.
Thoroughbred Racing South Australia made the decision after it was determined that drainage issues at the track would not see the surface
fit for racing by the scheduled April 25 meeting.
G&BJC chief executive Shane Collins said the problem arose following a decision to undertake maintenance work on the racing surface.
“The decision to do some work on our track basically meant cutting all the grass off it and letting it regrow,” he said.
“This was expected to take anywhere from six to eight weeks and have us back racing.
“Unfortunately, it has taken longer than expected.
“We’ve just had a lot of cold nights in recent times, which has slowed the grass growth.”
Mr Collins said the loss is damaging to the club, but the track changes will set them up for a positive future.
“As a club we rely on income, and having race meetings allows us to have cash flow as a business,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who have booked in (for the day), so we’ll have to reimburse all those people and/or try and transfer them to another race meeting, so it is just a lot of logistical issues.
“There was a lot of organising that went into Anzac Day, so we just have to rewind a lot of the work that has already been put in.
“It is going to be great benefit to our club moving forward – unfortunately, it has just been a bit longer than was first expected.”
This is the second race meeting that has been relocated from Gawler recently, with the March 29 fixture also unable to go ahead due to the track upgrade.
The club’s next meeting will be held on Mother’s Day, with Mr Collins hopeful the grass will be ready by then.