Two of Victoria’s top racetrack minds have answered the call to assist their Tasmanian counterparts in an effort to repair the troubled Hobart track in the lead-up to the state’s summer carnival.
Track staff at Elwick Racecourse were left red-faced when an inspection found numerous loose plugs in the track rendered the surface unsafe for last week’s Tasmanian Guineas meeting.
Tasmanian Racing Minister Jane Howlett demanded an independent investigation into the problems, which has arisen five weeks before the Hobart Cup weekend.
Flemington track manager Liam O’Keeffe and Moonee Valley’s Marty Synan will head to Hobart in the coming days to provide their expert input into the issues surround the track surface.
“We’re just going to head down and give them a hand with any advice we can give on getting it ready for the Cup and help them out leading into their big carnival,” O’Keeffe said.
“The images of the track were pretty graphic and hopefully we can get down there and help them sort those issues out and get the track right.”
O’Keeffe said Melbourne track managers often received requests for assistance from various clubs, either in Victoria or interstate, but most weren’t made public.
He said he and Synan had not received a report into the state of the Elwick track, meaning they would approach their task with an open mind.
“We’re going down there with a blank sheet of paper and no preconceived ideas,” O’Keeffe said.
“We’ll take down our various tools and take measurements of the surface and compare things to the tracks back here to see the strength of the grass and the profile of the ground.
“If there’s any more remedial work to be done, we’ll help them with that but we’ve heard the remedial work has been done on the affected areas.
“It’s just a matter of getting the work done to have the track a bit better going forward.”
Originally published asMelbourne managers answer Tassie SOS
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