As precious as gold
THE Bundaberg Race Club committee is treating its new sand like gold.
The 580 tonnes of top dressing is the first full replacement of the track’s surface in its history, and its timing could not have been better.
The recent deluge would have put a serious question mark on this weekend’s Summer Cup, but the upgrade has left the track in perfect condition and ready to be broken in tomorrow.
“If it was the old track it would have been no good, but unless we get a cyclone before Saturday we’ll be fine,” club vice president Robert Modrow said.
The investment cost the club $20,000 — money well spent, according to president Rod Titterington.
“The horses will benefit from more cushioning and not pushing up as much dust. It needed to be done,” he said.
Trainers such as Mary Hassam have welcomed the upgrade.
“It’s absolutely the right idea; it was definitely called for,” she said.
The club has struggled to make ends meet in previous years, but have taken a punt in the hope that crowds will increase as a result.
“We need to get across that we are willing to spend some money to make the facilities better and more comfortable for the spectators and the horse and jockey,” Modrow said.
He said they were hoping to have a sailed viewing area for future events this year.
“Definitely for the Bundy Gold Cup and Melbourne Cup we want that happening.”
Track curator Glen Paul has been busy preparing the surface for its debut meet.
“It’s exciting and you do get a sense of satisfaction when it comes up nicely. People expect a nice sight when they come to the races and it’s always good when you get a wrap from the trainers,” he said.
He will get his chance to impress at tomorrow’s five-race program, with 38 horses scheduled to line up in some bumper, top quality fields.
Read tomorrow’s NewsMail to see how local favourite Suntanned will fare with comeback jockey Katsuto Yoneyama in the saddle.