Racing returns to Lismore on Thursday.
Racing returns to Lismore on Thursday.

Major problem could see Lismore race meeting moved

LISMORE Turf Club has received good support for Thursday’s seven-race TAB meeting for which all owners will be allowed back on track.

While they have received good support though with 137 nominations and they look forward to the relaxation of the pandemic restrictions they have one major problem.

Their track is rated a Heavy 10.

“The stewards walked the track this morning,” LTC general manager Scott Jones said.

“We wouldn’t be able to race. There are two sections of the track, at the 1200m and from the 200m to the finishing post they deem unsafe for racing.

“They were going to inspect Casino and Ballina later today.”

Jones thinks the meeting may well be moved to either track if the stewards feel they are a good chance of racing.

“We’re just in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment,” Jones said.

“We’ll wait on the stewards but they will want to race somewhere because of the good noms.”

He is delighted and disappointed that owners are now allowed back on to tracks to watch their horses race.

Racing NSW announced owners were able to return to NSW racecourses from last Saturday (June 20) to watch their horse race advising on its website “owners will now be able to attend the racecourse, visit their horses in the race day stalls and view their horses’ race, without being confined to a seated food or drink area”.

Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys AM said: “Racing NSW has worked closely with the NSW Government to allow owners back to NSW racecourses to watch their horses race, as they are the lifeblood of the industry.

“This announcement will be particularly welcomed in country regions where the race clubs don’t necessarily have the facilities to take advantage of the previous relaxation of restrictions in respect of existed seated food and drink areas.

“Racing NSW also looks forward to the further relaxations to be implemented from July 1, 2020 that will allow up to 10,000 spectators to return to NSW racecourses,” Mr V’landys added.

Scott Jones said if that is the case then his club will be more than able to stage a huge Cup day in September with “around 4000 people” on course.

In the meantime he’s hoping Thursday’s meeting goes ahead, whether at Lismore, Casino or Ballina, after Coffs Harbour was washed out last Friday.