With Canberra in a territory-wide lockdown until at least October 15, there will continue to be no racing at Thoroughbred Park.
Racing in their stead will be Queanbeyan Racing, with the club hosting at least two meetings in the second half of September.
The first meeting arrived on September 17, which replaces the meeting scheduled for the same day at Thoroughbred Park, and the second meeting being on September 28, which replaces the meeting originally slated for September 26 at Thoroughbred Park.
Queanbeyan Racing CEO Brendan Comyn said it was important that his club offered some racing to local participants while Thoroughbred Park was out of action.
“We are doing this for the good of the industry. There’s no financial gain for Queanbeyan and it will only knock the track around, but we have to do it,” Comyn said.
“It’s creating work and offering prizemoney to the industry.”
Queanbeyan have held one other Canberra meeting this season, hosting an eight-race-program on August 24, while their other meeting that was slated to be run on September 7 was abandoned due to wet weather.
Comyn said the track staff were working overtime to have Queanbeyan Racecourse in tip top shape, not only for Friday’s program, but for a busy spring and summer season of racing.
“We are trying to look after the track and get it right. It’s a (soft) five now and it will be a (good) four by tomorrow and should be perfect come Friday,” Comyn said.
“We raced in place of Canberra back in August, but we had the misfortune of getting 22ml (of rain) the night before and we had a massive job of repatching the track after that, but it is coming together now.”
While it is unfortunate Canberra cannot race due to the state government’s Covid-19 lockdown, trainers are taking advantage of racing on the turf at Queanbeyan, with over 100 horses accepting for the eight-race-program on Friday.
“When we raced on the 24th of August, the general consensus, and particularly from the Canberra trainers was, that it was great to be back racing on grass,” Comyn said.
The TAB Federal over the 1200m will headline the eight-race-card, with racing jumping at 12.45pm and full fields can be viewed by clicking here.
It is worth noting, the course is still closed to the public, including owners, and only essential personal can be on course for the meeting.