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Redeveloped Innisfail Turf Cub ready for return to racing

20210727-112812.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

The redeveloped Pease Park track at Innisfail has been given the tick of approval by participants as the Cassowary Coast-based club prepares for their return to racing.

The Innisfail Turf Cub has been out of action for all of 2021 so far as works have been completed to upgrade their racing surface.

The club held jump outs on Tuesday morning and FNQ-based trainers and jockeys were pleased with the way the new track raced.

Multiple North Queensland Cup winning trainer Stephen Potiris had a handful from his stable test the new surface and says the local racing industry are looking forward to having their track up and running once again.

“Generally speaking, the track is really good where it all has been done, where it has all been re-turfed and everything, it is nice,” Potiris said.

“All the jockeys were happy with it following the trials.

“The grass is now open for us to train on and we are looking forward to the Banana Day next month.

“The track has come up pretty good and hopefully it means we can race a few more TAB days in the future.”

In June 2019, Innisfail was awarded close to $500,000 from the Country Racing Program to upgrade their facilities.

Stephen Potiris Next Racing

20210727-104343.jpgWith almost 200 projects funded through the CRP, Innisfail’s upgrades are the single biggest project to date that has been delivered and will provide the North Queensland racing industry with another quality venue.

The upgrades include a reprofile of the course proper to fix the reverse camber and installation of sand slit drainage to course proper from the 500 metres to the 900 metre mark and 1100 metres to the 1500 metres, including the 1200 metre and 1500 metre chutes.

On top of that, there has also been an installation of a new plastic inside running rail and relocation of the existing inside running rail to the outside running rail.

The experienced Potiris is hopeful Innisfail will receive some rain in the coming weeks and explained that if they do, the new track will be cherry ripe for their return date, which is set down for the 14th of August.

The reopening of the track will double as the popular “Banana Industry Race Day” at Innisfail, which will host six races, and will be run as a TAB meeting.

Innisfail held their first TAB meeting for more than a decade in November and the upgraded track could well provide further opportunities into the future after mainly racing on the non-TAB circuit in recent years.

Fellow Innisfail trainer Krystin Allender, who had gelding Danger One in Tuesday’s jump outs, said the new track was in good order.

Cairns-based rider Masayuki Abe, who took part in Tuesday’s jump outs, said the new part of the track was “great” with a solid grass covering.