Racing NSW racecourse manager to visit Albury on Tuesday to probe track

ABANDONED: Surface water around the 800-metre mark was of the biggest concern that led to the Albury Gold Cup being postponed on Friday.
ABANDONED: Surface water around the 800-metre mark was of the biggest concern that led to the Albury Gold Cup being postponed on Friday.

RACING NSW's racecourse manager will investigate the Albury track on Tuesday.

The track specialist will probe how the recent $1.7 million upgrade failed to cope with the downpour of 23mm in 20 minutes when the track was rated a good 4 on cup morning and the meeting being postponed.

Albury Racing Club CEO, Steve Hetherton, said the club was working with Racing NSW to find an alternative date to run the meeting and explain the failure of the track.

"Unfortunately I don't have the answers in regards to the track," Mr Hetherton said.

"Even though we did get 23mm of rain just a few hours before the first race I like most people, expected the track to cope with that.

"To say we are bitterly disappointed it didn't, would be an understatement.

"No irrigation was applied to the track on cup eve. We are still in discussions with Racing NSW about an alternative date to run our cup program.

"At this stage I don't have a date but I suspect I will know either way by 5pm on Monday."

We just want to ensure that the industry participants can compete for the $470,000 prizemoney that was on offer.

Albury Racing Club CEO, Steve Hetherton

Mr Hetherton said if the track renovations were deemed inadequate the club would leave no stone unturned to rectify the problem.

"We need to investigate why and fix the problem immediately," he said. "Whether that is a quick fix or a long term fix - I'm not sure.

"But whatever the prognosis we will be making sure it's fixed either way - permanently."

Mr Hetherton said a special committee meeting was held on Saturday to discuss the financial fallout and a suitable date to re-run the meeting if possible.

"The financial fallout will be significant and we are working through possible solutions to minimise the damage," he said.

"The club will survive but we face significant challenges over the next 12 months to try and recoup the losses.

"Last year our operating profit was $60,760 and two years ago when we couldn't race for almost 12 months because of the track renovations was a $153,067 loss.

"We won't have a figure until we find out if the cup program can be re-run. If we are allocated a suitable date we won't be trying to reproduce a traditional cup day.

"We just want to ensure that the industry participants can compete for the $470,000 prizemoney that was on offer.

"We have submitted some proposed dates and Racing NSW now has to see if they are suitable and won't impact other clubs.

"Racing NSW are keeping an open mind and are exploring all options."

Mr Hetherton apologised to racegoers who attended the cup meeting on Friday expecting to see quality racing.

"We are deeply apologetic to anyone who attended were left disappointed that they didn't get to see any racing action," he said. "We understand that some people were left frustrated.

"Other than the racing all other entertainment on the day ran as usual and the club did everything possible to ensure those who did attend still had a wonderful time.