Yeppoon course will last

OFFICIALS from both the Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) and Yeppoon Turf Club (YTC) are confident that the Capricorn Coast's Keppel Park racecourse will withstand the pressure of the remaining six rescheduled Rockhampton TAB race meetings.

This follows an underbelly of negativity and concern from sections of the racing community after the Keppel Park track looked particularly dusty and patchy during races on Monday.

So much so, it was strongly suggested that next Tuesday's TAB races scheduled for Keppel Park would be transferred to either the turf tracks at Mackay or Emerald.

Yesterday, officials from both clubs, as well as Queensland Racing Limited (QRL) said this was not the case and racing would proceed at Keppel Park.

Under the maintenance and care of on-course trainer and curator Allan Jenkinson, the Keppel Park grass circuit has stood-up amazingly well to six race meetings being conducted there since August 6.

Considering that in recent years Keppel Park only hosted two race meetings annually, it is a tribute to Jenkinson's dedication and skills that it has coped so well during the last five weeks.

Greg Simpson, the YTC chairman admitted there was a “dust problem on top of the track” on Monday and this would be in hand before next Tuesday.

“We will increase the irrigation on the track before the next meeting. It has been so dry and windy at Keppel Park. I think the track has held-up really well considering it was never prepared for this schedule as we were only given five days notice in August about the 11 meetings ahead. We are getting on top of the problems,” Simpson said.

RJC curator Richard Harris said he believed Keppel Park had raced “better than I originally expected”.

As well, the YTC has justifiably received praise all round over the construction of a new batch of 32 on-course day stalls to cope with the extra numbers of horses racing there. In all there are now 92 race day or tie-up stalls at the track.

The new turf track at Callaghan Park, which is still under excavation, is scheduled to convene racing in December and QRL officials believe this will occur.

Track and specialist engineers will meet with RJC officials at Callaghan Park tomorrow to discuss a number of issues pertaining to both the sand training track and the new turf track.

“I am keen to speak to the track specialist about aspects of the new turf track,” RJC chairman Justin Doyle understandably said.

He said there were still some issues of concern about the latest experimentation mixture being tested on the training track from the 400 metres to the winning post.

Harris added that he was still not 100 per cent happy with the testing mix.

Meanwhile, the Springsure Jockey Club has extended its nominations for four races scheduled for next Saturday with the new deadline at 9am this morning.

Only 30 entries were received for the card, including just six for the Springsure Cup (1400m).



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