Heavy rainfall in the lead-up to the scheduled start of the Great Southern racing season has forced Sunday’s meeting in Mt Barker to be transferred. Last week it was announced that Mt Barker Turf Club’s opening meeting of the 2021-22 season had been moved to Narrogin. Racing and Wagering WA stewards conducted track inspections at both Mt Barker and Albany ahead of the new season. Stewards determined that a waterlogged section between the 300m and 100m mark in the home straight would not dry sufficiently before the meeting that was set down for the venue this Sunday. Initially it was hoped the meeting would be transferred to Albany but Percy Spencer Racecourse is also not ready to race given the constant rainfall in the past couple of months. RWWA manager for thoroughbred racing Simon di Bartolomeo said excessive rainfall in the region unfortunately meant the Mt Barker track was not ready in time. “The stewards inspected the track last Thursday and found the 300 to 100m section was waterlogged with surface water. “They advised the track won’t be available to race on for two weeks. “We ideally would have transferred the meeting to Albany, but with the rainfall in the last few months Albany had a couple of bare patches and just weren’t ready to pick up the Mt Barker meeting. “Albany will still be ready for their first meeting but the only other track we had up our sleeve was Narrogin.” MBTC host six of the 20 meetings in the Great Southern each season. The club had been plagued by track problems in previous seasons and lost their marquee meeting, Grapes and Gallops, in 2020. However, they held all six meetings last season and have been buoyed by the overall condition of the track leading into the new season. In a statement on their Facebook page last Thursday, MBTC said they regretted any disappointment and or inconvenience caused by the meeting switch. “Due to an unusual amount of rainfall for this time of year, we have been closely monitoring some sections of the track that have not dried out with the rest of the track,” the statement read. “An inspection conducted today by RWWA’s stewards and Mt Barker track staff agreed some of these areas could pose a potential safety risk to jockeys and horses. “Although RWWA’s stewards were happy with the overall condition of our track, it was decided in the interest of safety to all, that the October 31 race meeting at Mt Barker be cancelled.” The next MBTC meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 26. Albany Racing Club will now open the 2021-22 season on Sunday, November 14.