Statement Regarding Wentworth Park Abandonment
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has requested an urgent meeting with the Wentworth Park Trust and the NSW GBOTA this week to discuss deficiencies in the preparation of the Wentworth Park track surface, following the abandonment of five races on Saturday night.
Stewards were left with no choice but to abandon the last five races after the track was found to be unsuitable for racing.
GRNSW does not employ the curators at the Wentworth Park track and is not directly responsible for the preparation of the track for racing. The curators are employed by the Wentworth Park Trust and operate under the direction of the trust and the NSW GBOTA who are responsible for conducting the meeting.
GRNSW’s initial review of the Wentworth Park meeting on Saturday night indicates that track staff at Wentworth Park deep harrowed the track on Thursday, despite a forecast of rain for the following day. Unfortunately, the fact that it rained on Friday was a contributing factor that led to the five races being abandoned due to the surface not consolidating. If the Wentworth Park track staff had consulted with GRNSW, they would have been advised not to deep harrow with rain predicted to fall in the next 48 hours.
Notwithstanding this, stewards determined that the track was suitable to race during their pre-race inspection.
However, the situation on Saturday night was then compounded by track staff proceeding to lightly harrow the track between each race in an attempt to improve the surface. This action had the opposite effect and caused the track to deteriorate by bringing water to the surface.
Despite claims on the Australian Racing Greyhound website, GRNSW would like to stress that Saturday’s abandonment was not as a result of the track maintenance policy it has introduced.
GRNSW believes that the issue was caused by track staff not following recommended preparation methods and the incorrect use of equipment designed to provide safe and suitable racing surfaces.
While this failure is disappointing, of more concern to GRNSW is that Saturday’s incident is the second time this year that a meeting has been abandoned at Wentworth Park because track staff have not adequately prepared or maintained the track.
Participants, fans of the sport and people who wager on greyhounds all expect and deserve a safe and suitable track surface to be prepared for every race meeting.
GRNSW is committed to addressing this issue and will be raising these concerns with the NSW GBOTA and the Wentworth Park Trust in its meeting this week to determine what action will be taken to ensure that a safe and suitable racing surface is prepared for all future Wentworth Park meetings.