The annual Tumut Turf Club Derby Day meeting scheduled for Saturday has unfortunately been abandoned at the direction of Racing NSW stewards.
In an inspection of the track on Wednesday morning, stewards deemed the surface too heavy, and with more rain forecast for Friday and Saturday, the likelihood of the track being ready by Saturday was slim to none.
Club vice president Frank Snow said it was a disappointing result, but out of the club’s hands at the end of the day.
“It is disappointing for us and it’s unfortunate for Tumut but we can’t do much about it,” Snow said.
“At the end of the day, it is just bad luck; we can’t control it.”
Snow said that there was one particular spot on the track causing the club and stewards the most concern, and that will likely be exacerbated in the coming days.
“It’s just a heavy section around the 800m where there is no drainage,” Snow said.
“There is more rain coming, and because there is no drainage, it will only get worse.”
The club administrator said it was too early to tell if the Derby Day races would be postponed to another day, but said the club would definitely consider all options.
“That is something that will be looked at, we will have to have a talk about it,” Snow said.
Tumut trainer and track curator, Kerry Weir, hoped Tumut wouldn’t lose the meeting and suggested that they could postpone it to later in the year to November 21, a date that was originally held by Adaminaby, before they abandoned this year’s meeting due to Covid.
“(November 21) would be ideal, you don’t want to be losing your own meetings, and you don’t want to be travelling,” Weir said.
“It could even work out better for us, they might relax some restrictions by then, but before anything, we will have to have a chat and apply for a date.”
Weir did find a little to laugh about in what is a frustrating situation for the club, which has been forced to deal with drought and firmer than usual tracks in recent seasons.
“It’s all up to the gods; last year, we couldn’t get enough water into the track, now it’s coming out of the ground,” Weir laughed.
Weir did back the early decision though before suggesting trainers would be happier knowing they can accept at other tracks like Wagga, Corowa and Moruya.
“There was just too much water on the track, the worst part is the 1000m back to the 700m; when you are walking on it, it’s all squishing water,” Weir said.
“It will keep the trainers happy and that is why they called it early.”
In good news to those who have purchased tickets, refunds will be available, and purchasers are encouraged to contact the Tumut Turf Club for more details.