Warialda put participants first with date change

Warialda Jockey Club will race on April 30 after their meeting was moved. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Warialda Jockey Club (WJC) were meant to be readying for their cup meeting on Saturday, but following the recent wet weather in the region, and with questions being raised over the state of their track, Racing NSW and the WJC committee made the tough decision to postpone their meeting until April 30. 

Warialda Jockey Club President Andrew Phillips said the decision was made in the interest of participants.

“We made the decision for the participants, and trainers, owners and jockeys who would have been put out if we wanted to race and couldn’t end up racing,” Phillips said. 

“We probably could have raced and looking at the sun and wind today (Thursday), maybe we made the decision early, but we did that thinking of our participants.”

Racing NSW also transferred the Taree meeting scheduled for Saturday to Gunnedah, meaning North West racing participants then had the choice to race at Gunnedah, before turning their attention to Warialda later in the month. 

“This means trainers and jockeys can race at Gunnedah, and they will 100% race, whereas at Warialda, the chances were a lot lower,” Phillips said. 

“It was the right decision to make, and we needed to do it early.”

Gunnedah ended up with 83 acceptances on their seven-race Sky 2 meeting.

Warialda Jockey Club track Curator and local trainer Leon Cross was disappointed with the decision, and while he appreciated an early call needed to be made by Racing NSW, he believed the Warialda course proper would have handled the six-race-program and he believes as extra day or two could have been given to the club.

“The track is fantastic, and it dries out quick,” Cross said. 

“It would have had no worries in the world. It’s fully grassed, and I mowed the track the day after the rain and it was soft then, but it was as good as gold today and I can’t understand why it was called off four days ago.”

Cross said many people had already travelled to town for the meeting, and he just hoped patrons would return for the new April 30 date. 

“A lot of people arrived here this week, and some have said they won’t be able to have another week off when we do race,” Cross said. 

“I just hope we still get a good crowd and people get out to the races.”

The Warialda Jockey Club’s meeting will now be held on April 30, and the $11,000 Warialda Cup will still headline the meeting. 

Readers can click here to keep up to date with the club and what will be happening on the day.