Hanging Rock Not Dead Yet

By: Ryan Clark
January 9th, 2012

Hanging Rock will continue its history as one of Victoria’s most iconic racing venues, even if there’s a blip on the radar in 2012.

It was announced last week that despite an initial feeling of positivity the annual Australia Day meet would not be able to go ahead.

This comes off the back of the cancellation of the New Year’s meeting just one race into the card, the only other meeting staged at Hanging Rock all year.

It all stems from a cracked drainage pipe which caused a pot hole and safety concerns for the rest of the circuit.

Inspections were carried out and further damage discovered meaning stewards had no choice but to pull the plug.

Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines maintains though that they are committed to seeing Hanging Rock restored to its former glory in the future, TAB status and all.

“We are going to find a way to restore this track,” Hines said.

“It’s all about safety – whether it’s safe to race on.”

As yet no decision has been made on how they will repair the issue with the exercise threatening to be very costly.

If they were to reconstruct the entire system not only would it be a huge financial burden it would also mean closure for up to 12 months.

The first step will be to find out just how bad the current pipes are.

“We don’t know how bad (Hanging Rock) is, but we have identified a number of problems in the (home) straight and around the back (of the track) where the drainage is cracked,” Hines said.

“We have to do an extensive survey and check every pipe all the way around the track.”

A second option could be to remove drainage all together and rely on decent weather as they have done in the past.

“If you got a heavy downpour a couple of days before the meeting, it’s likely it would be lost, but given the time of year that’s unlikely,” he said.

It could take up to two months before a final decision is reached on how they’ll move forward.

The Australia Day meeting has been transferred to Kyneton where entry will be a gold coin donation with all proceeds going towards the National Jockeys’ Trust and the Jane McGrath Foundation.

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