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Crisis Meeting "To Avert Broadmeadow Closure"

Thursday, 20th October 2011

Racing NSW “will hold a crisis meeting with Newcastle jockeys” today “to avert the closure of racing at Broadmeadow” reported The Newcastle Herald. The meeting “comes after long-running discussions between jockeys, Racing NSW & Newcastle Jockey Club over the track’s safety”. Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy, general manager Scott Kennedy & racecourse experts Andrew Small & David Hodgson “will head to Newcastle” where “jockeys have long-standing concerns about undulations along the back straight, which create an uneven racing surface, and also about the reverse camber on the home turn”. The NJC “had planned to start temporary repair work” today “on the most critical inside section of the track. The rail was to be moved out 7m for the entire 2000m circumference to allow work to be done, while racing continued on the outside section of the track”. But jockeys “are concerned the the track will not be wide enough to race on safely”. If a solution cannot be found, Racing NSW “will close Broadmeadow & transfer meetings”. Newcastle Jockey Club chief executive Cameron Williams said that if racing stopped “Broadmeadow could be closed down altogether” & declared: “If racing is closed down here, the ramifications are enormous. We would have to look at putting off staff & if we could afford to provide training facilities without racing income. Of course, we are aware that jockey safety is paramount. However, I would hope that the meeting considers any potential impact on all of our stakeholders. If we are pushed into a corner & have to stop racing on the Broadmeadow course proper because of a change to our current renovation plan, we would have to consider our position.”

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