A return to racing at the Townsville Turf Club (TTC) on February 21 is set to be postponed, allowing for track rehabilitation work at Cluden Park.
Late last week TTC, in conjunction with Racing Queensland, inspected the course following the recent floods and located root growth issues, along with weed, seed and insect infestation.
The inspection also highlighted the need for further tests relating to soil contamination, with samples to be sent to southern laboratories in the near future.
Accordingly, TTC will immediately start a spray program to control weeds and grubs that have been observed.
Townsville Turf Club President Malcolm Petrofski said that after the flood waters cleared the track surface appeared to be in great condition, however the last few days of sunshine revealed evidence of weed infestation.
“A racing surface takes an incredible amount of fine-tuning to make it safe for our equine athletes; so any evidence of problems need to be nipped in the bud,” said Mr Petrofski.
“We are absolutely focused on nursing the track through this process carefully so that our Winter Carnival can continue as normal.”
To assist with the process Racing Queensland will return to Cluden Park tomorrow (Tuesday), however further race meetings may be delayed – contingent on results - until early April.
“We are very disappointed with the delay, but the health of the racing surface is paramount," Mr Petrofski said.
“Any contamination caused by the unprecedented floods needs to be addressed now before it causes any long-term damage.”
A further update on the condition of the track will be distributed week commencing February 25.
Contact: Malcolm Petrofski, President – Townsville Turf Club - 0400 480 220