Horsham to hold Racing Victoria meeting on Tuesday

HORSHAM and District Racing Club will hold a last-minute meeting on Tuesday. 

The decision from Racing Victoria comes after a meeting in Bendigo scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled due to 21mm of rain falling and leaving the track unsuitable for racing. 

Horsham and District Racing Club manager Lisa Inkster said adding the meeting to its calendar was a big financial boost for the club. 

“Racing Victoria asked us to hold an extra meeting to alleviate the pressure they were receiving from trainers wanting to race on grass in the middle of winter,” she said. 

“They are struggling to find suitable grass tracks. It’s not uncommon for them to come to clubs in the north of the state simply because they do receive less rain. 

“It is a massive financial gain for us to take a race meeting with a seven-day turnaround. The industry is well aware of the cost and the impact that it has on us to run a meeting on short notice.

“That is one reason we absolutely wanted to make ourselves available at this time of year. 

“We are a three race day club – we have our cup and Santa Day races as our features and then a meeting in May too. We have a gap from May until our cup in October, so we are normally sitting here ready to race. When we know it’s wet down south we make sure we are ready to go at any time.”

Ms Inkster said a range of factors were taken into consideration when adding the meeting to Horsham, including where recent meetings have been held and the state of Horsham’s track. 

“They look at all sorts of factors – Warracknabeal for instance just raced on Tuesday and have another race in four weeks. That would probably put too much pressure on that track to hold another,” she said. 

“The track is looking perfect and that has to be a consideration in our decision to take the meeting. It would be no good if we already had a heavy track. We are sitting in the mid-range of the track rating and with minimal rain forecast, we take that into consideration too.”

With the Bendigo cancellation, Ms Inkster said she was expecting the state’s best trainers to make the trip to Horsham.

“There will probably be a mix of trainers coming from across the state. The trainers will drive anywhere in the state to get their horses to run,” she said.

“Monday and Tuesday there are synthetic races in the state and trainers want some more turf meetings. There were some massive names in the state that were at Warracknabeal on Tuesday so we certainly think we will see the same in Horsham next week. 

“We do have a tight turnaround but sometimes you get four days notice, so seven days is long enough.”

The program for Tuesday’s meeting features eight races. Nominations for the races close Thursday afternoon with acceptances to be taken Friday morning.