Wet patch forces end to Queanbeyan races
Queanbeyan Racing Club CEO Brendan Comyn. Photo: Andrew Johnston
An irrigation malfunction that left a 30-metre wet spot on the Queanbeyan track forced the last three races to be abandoned on Sunday.
QRacing chief executive Brendan Comyn said the new irrigation system has only been in operation for three weeks and was yet to be fully completed.
He said the affected area of the track was about 400 metres from the finishing post, started about three horse widths out from the rail and went to about six horse widths.
Comyn said the nature of the early races meant it took until the fourth to notice the wet spot, which was rated about a heavy 8. The rest of the track was a good 3.
A few of the senior jockeys met with the stewards after race four - the benchmark 54 handicap (1100 metres) - and the track was deemed unsafe and the final three races were abandoned.
''When they got to that part of the track when they had to wind up and go for home they obviously had to go through the wet patch and one of them nearly fell over, and you can't be having that,'' Comyn said.
He said the overwatering must have occurred on Thursday or Friday night, but he hadn't been notified of the problem.
''The fourth race came along and they were about six or seven [horses] wide at the corner and a couple of them went straight into the shed,'' Comyn said.
''And some of the more senior jockeys that were riding on the outside were the ones that went straight into the shed and they changed their undies and went into the stewards and said, 'This isn't safe'.
''I tend to agree with them, it probably wasn't, I went and had a look at the area.''
Comyn said it was a shame for everyone affected, especially the visiting trainers who brought horses from as far away as Cowra and Sydney. He was also affected, with Hey Porter's event one of the races abandoned.
Comyn is a part-owner of the Honours List gelding and was confident of the six-year-old's chances in the benchmark 55 handicap (1460 metres) before it was called off.
''It's disappointing for everyone because the people who have floated their horses some distance have got here and the track's let them down,'' he said.