The NSW GBOTA advises that, following a site inspection between the GRNSW track maintenance team and Gunnedah management earlier today, all racing and trailing activity at the Gunnedah track will be suspended as a re-construction of the track is fully evaluated and undertaken.
This morning’s inspection identified that the subgrade of the track is compromised at some points and is, accordingly, an underlying construction weakness that impacts on optimum track surface preparation.
The Gunnedah track was converted from grass to sand in 2014. As is the case at a number of NSW tracks, the construction methodology applied to the track conversion is at odds with the demands of current track preparation standards, procedures and equipment use.
NSW GBOTA chairman, Geoff Rose, welcomed the decision.
“We are now in an era where the safest possible provision of racing is paramount,” said Rose.
“Significant efforts have been made by the GRNSW track maintenance team to improve and standardise track preparation methodology… the use of sand profiles, penetrometers, and porosity testing are outstanding developments.
“But without dealing with the underlying construction weaknesses, surface preparation can only improve things so far.
“I look forward to working with GRNSW as the subgrade of the track is fully assessed and we determine the works that are required to ensure Gunnedah is back providing the best possible service to participants in the north west of NSW as soon as possible.”
Mr. Rose added that he understood the frustration that would be experienced by participants but this was, in his opinion, unavoidable as the NSW greyhound industry reformed and presented racing to the highest level of safety standards.
“When the Premier announced the closure of the greyhound industry in July 2016, our industry committed to reform and guaranteed our commitment the safest possible provision of racing, recognizing the direct connection with our long term sustainability.
“The Government, and in particular the current Minister for Racing Paul Toole, supported our endeavours with the formation of a $30M fund to specifically ensure that NSW tracks are able to meet modern construction standards.
“So the suspension of racing will be frustrating to participants but getting our tracks right for the long term is a responsibility to which we must maintain an unbending and total commitment.”
The NSW GBOTA understands that the next meeting scheduled for Gunnedah (March 4) will be transferred to Tamworth, details will be placed on TheDogs website when available.
Confirmation on further race date transfers, following consideration of all options, and further information on the scope of the construction works and the timetable for same will be provided as soon as possible.