Flooding impacts NSW race tracks

Moree’s racecourse went under water again after the town was flooded for a second time in 19 months.

Racecourses across NSW have again felt the brunt of the recent and ongoing wet weather event, with various race tracks either under water, or severely impacted by huge deluges.

There has been major flooding at Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Hillston, Hay and Condobolin, and many other regions are under a flood watch, with 129 warnings in place across NSW on Tuesday, including 24 telling people to evacuate or move to higher ground, as swollen rivers threatened homes.

For the second time in 19 months, the Moree Race Club course proper is completely under water, while tracks at Mudgee and Gunnedah have experienced flood damage.

Add to that, a plethora of other tracks are dealing with rising waters, a high-water table, and continued wet weather. 

Moree has been one of the hardest hit regions, with well over 200mm falling in a short period according to Moree Race Club President Robert Mather.

“We have had nine inches in four days,” Mather said. 

“We had 150mm overnight on Thursday and we had already received 52mm, and we had another 22mm after that.”

Moree were meant to be racing on Friday, but the meeting has since been transferred to Coonamble, and Mather said it was a case of Déjà vu for his club, committee, and hard-working ground staff, who suffered through a similar event in March of last year. 

“It’s very much the same as last time,” Mather said. 

“We lost the Moree Cup to wet weather, which was our last meeting, and this meeting will be another lost one – it is very frustrating.

“Our curator was out there this morning (Tuesday), and he said it looked very similar to the last flood.

“He thought it didn’t get as high, but it still covered nine-tenths of the track.”

The flood-damaged Mudgee racecourse.

“The water is going down but very slowly. We just have to cross our fingers and hope everything is fine.”

Moree is scheduled to race on December 17, and Mather was hopeful they would be able to race.  

“It all depends on the silt on the track and how quickly we can get it off,” Mather said. 

“We will try out best to be ready to race.”

In positive news for country racing fans, Lismore Turf Club, which went under in March, has been spared this time out despite the town preparing for a third major flood late yesterday Additionally, the town of Dubbo is under a flood watch but Dubbo Turf Club’s meeting, which is scheduled for Saturday, is still set to go ahead. 

A meeting at Quirindi has been added to the calendar for this coming Saturday to help give Hunter and North West racing participants some respite from recent postponed and abandoned meetings and the meeting scheduled for Tumut on Saturday has been moved to Narrandera