Melbourne Racing Club CEO Brodie Arnhold has apologised for the state of the Caulfield track yesterday, which had a clear fast lane down the outside rail.
Jockeys quickly realised that the outside of the Caulfield track was far quicker ground than that on the inside and the races held later in the day saw jockeys steering their mounts towards the outside rail.
Arnhold apologised to all punters, owners, trainers and stewards that were affected by the inconsistency of the Caulfield track and told Racing Ahead this morning that the Melbourne Racing Club was doing everything that they can to make sure the situation is not repeated.
“It was disappointing,” Arnhold said.
“Our responsibility is to produce a fair, safe surface that gives everybody the opportunity to win and that wasn’t the case yesterday.
“We have stuck our hand and said that we didn’t get that one right and we apologised to the people involved.
“We are working very hard to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Arnhold said that the heat wave conditions in Melbourne contributed to the state of the track as did the fact that there has been a great deal of racing held at Caulfield because of the track upgrade taking place at the Sandown Racecourse.
However, Arnhold was quick to add that the Melbourne Racing Club was not in the business of making excuses and took personal responsibly for the decision to hold the meeting at Caulfield.
“Caulfield doesn’t normally race that much at this time of year,” Arnhold said.
“Because Sandown is down, we raced an extra couple of times and I thought that we could get away with it because Caulfield is the best turnover of our three tracks and we should be doing that for the industry.
“The hot weather and some other conditions made it a more complex task preparing the track, but there were still some solutions that we could have got to, such as dirty draining the outside fence which can get hard and wasn’t receiving the water because of the wind.
“We should have taken that out of play and had a slightly smaller surface and certainly one where jockeys weren’t trying to go the outside fence, which is not what we want to see.”
The next race meeting at Caulfield will be held on January 25 and will feature the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) as well as the two editions of the Blue Diamond Preview.