IN A sensible decision made in the best interests of racing's stakeholders, the Rockhampton Jockey Club announced yesterday that Saturday's rich Capricornia Sales Classic Race Day had been abandoned because of imminent flooding.
Simultaneously, club chairman Justin Doyle announced that the $134,000 Merlo Downs Capricornia Sales 2YO Classic (1200m) and the $29,000 3YO Championship (1300m) would be transferred to the club's TAB program on Thursday, April 5.
However, the Capricornia Yearling Sales on Sunday at the Rockhampton Showgrounds will proceed as scheduled.
It is predicted that flood levels will peak at about 7.7m overnight on Thursday, which means water will enter Rockhampton's Callaghan Park racecourse precinct, flooding car parks, the racecourse entrance, saddling stalls and administration offices.
"It is in the best interests of everyone that we make an early call by abandoning the actual race day on Saturday.
"Possibly if the waters were to recede as quickly as possible we may have been able to go ahead with the meeting but the grounds would be unsatisfactory for everyone and work place health and safety issues have to be considered.
"By this decision the uncertainty which was unsatisfactory for everyone concerned has been eliminated," Doyle said.
Saturday's meeting offering almost $200,000 in prize money has traditionally been one of the Rockhampton club's feature race days on its annual calendar.
Doyle was also quick to initiate a revamped track work training schedule with Racing Queensland officials in the likelihood of the power supply being cut to Callaghan Park, which would prevent training starting under lights at 3am.
"If the electrical supply transformer to Callaghan Park is disconnected the training track will open at 5.30am but this is not the case at the moment.
"As it is, track work will continue as normal via the temporary entrance at the course proper crossing," Racing Queensland said.
Grass track gallops planned for this morning have been abandoned but special turf gallops for Capricornia Classic and Championship runners will be held some time next Tuesday morning.
Official grass track barrier trials are scheduled for Keppel Park, Yeppoon, on Monday, while the acceptances for the transferred feature races to April 5 will be taken next Tuesday.
Racing Queensland has released the ballot order, based on prize money earnings, for the nominated youngsters in the $134,000 2YO Classic.
It is Maximum Command, Hidden Prayer, Zerocity, Blackjack Davey, Edgeroi Hope, Notable Nova, Take Command, Glitzerland, Four Bells, Shtarker, Miss Ninety Nine, Rambuncious Boy, Caught Eloping, Buddy Rocks, and Hayyler's Hell.
The Rockhampton Greyhound Club's meeting at Callaghan Park tomorrow will still proceed at this stage.
Heavy rain in Mackay has pushed the opening of the new turf track back from the scheduled Saturday, April 14, to Saturday, May 5.
Racing Queensland officials Malcolm Tuttle, Paul Brennan and Jamie Orchard resigned yesterday.