Ararat Turf Club asked to explain track after abandoned meeting

RACING Victoria has called on Ararat Turf Club to explain the unsatisfactory preparation of its track.

Tuesday's meeting at NMIT Ararat Park was abandoned before the first race after a majority of jockeys refused to ride.

Ararat Turf Club manager Adam Atchison said there was an issue with the track's irrigation, which led to a section of the home straight being considerably wetter than the rest of the track.

He said track staff did everything in their power to improve the situation, including moving the rail from the true position to five metres out.

"I was satisfied with the state of the track, the regional track manager was satisfied with it and the track walker Darren Murphy, who walks the track the morning of was happy," he said.

"Darren highlighted, as we all did, a soft spot at the 220-metre mark which was about 12 metres long by two metres wide, two metres out from the running rail."

Atchison said Racing Victoria procedure stated if more than a third of jockeys riding in the first race were not satisfied with the state of the track, the meeting would be abandoned.

"I am not sure of the exact number, but obviously the vote was in favour of cancelling," he said.

He said the outcome was extremely disappointing for the club, trainers, stable staff and connections.

Racing Victoria executive general manager of infrastructure Jamie McGuinness said he would review communication procedures to figure out why the issue was not addressed earlier.

"Ultimately, horse and rider safety is paramount so the decision of the jockeys not to complete the meeting was accepted," he said.

The connections of each affected horse and the riders will be compensated under Racing Victoria's meeting abandonment policy.

Ararat Turf Club's next meeting is scheduled for December 30.

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