Racing Victoria has launched an investigation into the Werribee track that has come under fire after a disastrous meeting yesterday that saw two horses put down and debutant jockey Boris Thornton taken to hospital with neck and leg injuries.
Thornton was riding Frenchhook in the eighth race of the day when the gelding stepped in a deep divot on the track and crashed to the ground.
Jockeys Craig Newitt and James Winks were quick to inspect the part of the track where the incident occurred after the race and stewards made the decision to call off the meeting with two races left to be run.
The Werribee track is best known for being the home of the TAB International Horse Centre, which serves as the host for overseas horses when they come to Australia, but in recent times has been criticised by a number of racing experts due to its poor condition.
Racing Victoria Chief Executive Bernard Saundry said that he has launched a full investigation into the state of the Werribee track but he remains confident that it will be fit to play host to the number of European-based horses who will be coming to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
“I have opened a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the fall and the meeting being abandoned, commencing with an inspection tomorrow morning by our tracks and facilities team,” Sundry told the Racing Victoria website.
“My preliminary advice is that the track was of a suitable standard for racing at the commencement of the meeting, but had deteriorated as a result of traffic throughout the eight races conducted.
“With a 10 week break we have plenty of time for the track to consolidate and any necessary remedial work to be undertaken.
“As a result I’m confident that the track will have returned to a suitable condition in time for the arrival of the first international horses on AFL Grand Final Day.”
Frenchhook was put down after the accident, as was David Hayes-trained Adoboli who suffered injuries in the sixth race of the day, while Thornton luckily escaped any major injuries and was discharged from hospital last night.