Rock’s Fate Hanging In The Balance

By: Ryan Clark
January 4th, 2012

The future of one of Australia’s most famous and historic country circuits will be determined by a team of experts over the next few days.

The entire drainage system under the Hanging Rock track will be forensically examined by a remote control camera to check for damage.

A cracked pipe caused the cancellation of the New Year’s Day meeting after a horse stumbled in a pothole just after the conclusion of race one.

It was a big loss for the club given they only host two meetings annually.

The second is the Australia Day program and engineers face a race against time to have the ground fully repaired.

If no further problems are found though Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines remains confident the card will go ahead as planned.

“If you had asked me on Monday, I would have been doubtful, but having spoken to the engineers extensively and discussed their plans, I’m more confident,” Hines said.

“I have a conference call booked for Thursday where the engineers will report back with their recommendation.”

Originally it was feared Hanging Rock had the same issue that forced closures at Benalla, Kilmore, Kyneton and Moe for extended periods costing hundreds of thousands to fix.

Were that to be the case the future of the circuit was very much in doubt however Hines says things aren’t that dire.

“What we have at Hanging Rock is a 10mm wide split in a 150mm pipe that runs the 1200m circumference of the track and that’s where the hole occurred,” Hines said.

“This is quite different from those other tracks that had old drainage left under the track. We will be checking all pipes when engineers insert the camera into the ground.”

Should the Australia Day Hanging Rock meeting not get the go ahead it would be shifted to Kyneton.

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