Randwick Given All Clear For Epsom Handicap Meet

By: Sarah Fortnum
September 28th, 2011

Randwick racecourse has been given the all clear to host Epsom Handicap Day this Saturday after correcting recent structural concerns.

Both Chelmsford Stakes Day and George Main Stakes Day were transferred to Rosehill Gardens after the ageing QEII stand was found to be structurally unsound.

Engineers have now signed off on the repairs that were conducted to one of the main beams in the stand.

Australian Turf Club chief executive Darren Pearce was relieved that Randwick would be open for Sydney’s biggest day of the spring racing carnival.

“We are delighted to receive the engineer’s sign-off,” Pearce said.

Pearce believes the repairs have actually enhanced the overall feel of the course.

“If anything, the removal of the outer extremities of the roof has eliminated the large shadow that used to be cast over the lawn and parade ring,” he said.

Track manager Lindsay Murphy remains hopeful that the rain will hold off and allow Epsom Handicap Day to go ahead on a dead-rated track.

“A lot will depend on what happens (today), it is the strongest forecast. But the bureau is only saying we have a chance, not definite rain, for the rest of the week,” he said.

“There is a big chance we could be racing on a dead surface and that would be fantastic.”

This Saturday’s meeting will be one of the last major race days held at the course before a $150 million refurbishment begins in November following the Melbourne Cup Day fixture.

The newly renovated course will be open to the public in time for next year’s Sydney autumn racing carnival, which will begin in February.

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