Mt Barker track in the spotlight again as races abandoned

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Jockeys, including Kyra Yuill at the front, check over the wet section of the track at the 1150m mark.
Camera IconJockeys, including Kyra Yuill at the front, check over the wet section of the track at the 1150m mark. Credit: Laurie Benson

Two wet sections of the track at the Mt Barker Turf Club have caused the latest drama at the under-fire venue, with the final four races of today’s meeting abandoned by Racing and Wagering WA stewards this afternoon.

The rail was shifted out near the crossing after the initial track inspection by stewards this morning and passed fit to race but riders reported inconsistency in the surface after the running of race four.

A section at the 1150m mark and another at the 500m mark were significantly wet, believed to be leaks from underground irrigation, and became worse as the day’s racing went on.

Stewards initially deemed the area at the 1150m too dangerous to race on, abandoning race 5 and 6 which were both over 1850m and reducing the distance of race 7 to 1100m.

Jockeys and stewards assess the Mt Barker track.
Camera IconJockeys and stewards assess the Mt Barker track. Credit: Laurie Benson

Work was undertaken on the area at the 500m mark but riders and stewards again inspected the track almost 30 minutes after the original decision.

Stewards then declared the remainder of the meeting was abandoned due to the track being unsafe for racing.

The abandonment is another blow for the MBTC, who are 17 days away from their biggest meeting of the season the Grapes and Gallops festival featuring the $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint.

Track issues have plagued the club over the past couple of seasons.

A total of 20 meetings are held in the Great Southern each season, six of which are run at the MBTC.

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