The meeting scheduled at Sportsbet-Ballarat on Sunday has been transferred from the Ballarat Turf Club’s (BTC) turf track to its synthetic track, while the turf meeting programmed on Sunday, 14 July has been moved from Ballarat to Bendigo.
In light of the transfers and heavy balloting within country Victoria over recent weeks, the additional turf meeting has been programmed at Bairnsdale to provide further racing opportunities for owners and trainers.
Parts of the Ballarat turf track underwent renovation during the construction of the Ballarat synthetic track this season. As a result, sections shortly after the winning post and at the 1700-metre mark are wetter than other areas of the course.
Following an inspection, RV stewards were of the opinion that the track would benefit from an extended break, hence the decision was made to transfer the meetings prior to the closure of nominations.
Given the likelihood of further rainfall over the next three weeks, it was also deemed in the best interests of all participants to transfer the BTC’s July meeting to Bendigo to provide certainty that the meeting would proceed on turf.
BTC Chief Executive, Lachlan McKenzie said: “With the very wet conditions we have experienced in recent months and the drainage concerns we have with two sections of the turf track, it is best that these meetings are transferred. This will ensure that the track is in the best possible condition for the feature Grand National Steeplechase meeting in August.
“The drainage issue currently being experienced will be fixed with the installation of sand slits, but unfortunately the ground is too saturated to have these done at this stage. We apologise for any inconvenience and will do our best to have the drainage issue fixed as soon as possible.”
Following are the updated programs for the Ballarat synthetic (30 June) and Bendigo (14 July) meetings, including distance changes, and the program for the new Bairnsdale (30 June) meeting: