RWWA Manager Thoroughbred Racing and Curator Assistance Programme (CAP) Manager inspected the Albany race track with Club Officials on 14 September 2016. The track had previously been inspected by the CAP Manager on 18 August 2016 following advice from the Club that the track had not recovered adequately following the annual renovation.

At that time the severe winter being experienced in the great southern was seen to be the main contributing factor to the slow recovery of the track. To mitigate the risk of an interruption to the racing programme, an early decision was made to transfer the Club’s opening meeting on 30 October 2016 to Mount Barker. This provided
Albany an additional month to recover from the renovation. The subsequent inspection conducted on 14 September found limited improvement from the previous inspection and it was apparent given the lack of grass coverage that the track is unlikely to be suitable to resume racing as required in late November.

RWWA Manager Thoroughbred Racing David Hunter said “A harder renovation was completed at the conclusion of the previous season to remove excess organic matter from the track and ensure the best surface possible can be provided in wet weather. Moreover, it is apparent that the application of a herbicide to control winter grass in the track has also retarded recovery of the kikuyu plant during the extended cold conditions. This product should not impact kikuyu and we are currently seeking advice from the manufacturer in this regard.”

Albany Racing Club, with the support of RWWA, is currently undertaking remedial works on the track surface, including turf blocking and over sewing with a perennial rye grass. The venue is now expected to be available to resume racing in mid‐December.

Accordingly, the first four race meetings of the great southern season will now be conducted at Mount Barker.

  • Sunday, 30 October 2016 (transfer from Albany)
  • Sunday, 13 November 2016
  • Thursday, 24 November 2016 (transfer from Albany)
  • Thursday, 1 December 2016

“RWWA will provide additional support to the Mount Barker Turf Club through our Curator Assistance Programme to assist the Club in managing the increased workload for the track” Hunter said.