Newcastle Gets Green Light For Boxing Day

The troubles at Newcastle’s Broadmeadow surface appear to be over with stewards and jockeys declaring the track good to go.

While a final decision won’t be made until after two more trials on Monday it looks as if the Newcastle Jockey Club will be able to keep their Boxing Day meeting.

The track has been closed since October 15 but chief steward of Racing NSW Ray Murrihy says things are looking really good.

His thoughts were backed up by a number of the riders who took to the track yesterday.

“The track was unreal,” Andrew Gibbons said.

“It was a genuine slow and felt terrific.”

Robert Thompson backed up this assessment.

“A big improvement; the undulations are gone and the track will only get better as it consolidates,” he said.

Murrihy says that assuming things stay as they are through Monday there would be no reason not to run the Boxing Day meet.

The impact this will have on the NJC can’t be underestimated, crowds on Boxing Day exceed those even on Newcastle Cup Day.

Things aren’t quite perfect though, the rail will be moved to the true position on Monday and some turf needs replacing around the 600m.

Fields are also likely to be capped at a maximum of 12 horses.

Boxing Day would be run with the rail in the true position and it would then be moved out to 7m for the next meet on January 14.

As would be expected NJC chief executive Cameron Williams was stoked with the outcome.

“This is great news for the club and all Novocastrians who are looking forward to attending Boxing Day races,” he said.

“I would like to acknowledge the good work done by track manager Leigh Murrell and staff and ongoing support being provided by Racing NSW.”

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