Newcastle Greyhounds director James Herington said Greyhound Racing NSW has assured the club that racing will return to The Gardens on February 23after a second stage of remedial track work.
The Gardens track during better times.
The Gardens’ loam track has been been plagued by problems since racing returned in early November followingdrainage and resurfacing work. Meetings have been transferred to other tracks since January 6 because of what Newcastle Greyhounds chairman Brett Lazzarini said at the timewas a “substandard” surface. Herington said injury rates at the track, which is owned by GRNSW,had definitely risen since the resurfacing project.
He said it had been “very frustrating” for the club’s committee “because we are the ones fielding all the questions from trainers”about the GRNSW works.
“We had a good track that has been here for a substantial time, they came and renovated it and now we can’t race on it,” Herington said.
Herington was among those who met new GRNSW chief Tony Mestrovand deputy Dayle Brown last Wednesday night at the club as part of governing body executive’s statewide tour.
He said participants aired their concerns about the track, GRNSW promised to fix the problem and repair work began the following morning withnew sand delivered.
“Surely questions have got to be asked about the process,” he said.“It’s not a cheap exercise and now they are having to do it twice.”
Last Friday’s meeting at Gosford, which was moved from The Gardens, was abandoned because of the softness of the track after rain.
On Saturday night at Wentworth Park, Hunter-trained Dreaming Time and Zinkey were fifth and sixth respectively in the group 1 National Futurity won by Blue Sky Riot.