Sportingbet Park ready to race again

By: Mark Mazzaglia
January 31st, 2014

Sportingbet Park at Sandown has been given the thumbs up by officials to resuming racing in just under three weeks after undergoing a complete track renovation.

Speediness, above, was one of many gallopers who trialled at Sportingbet Park.

Speediness, above, was a winner at the trials at Sportingbet Park.

Following a set of official barrier trials on the outer Melbourne course this morning, Racing Victoria’s Chairman Of Stewards Terry Bailey said that the reports were all good and the new track is scheduled to reopen on February 19.

“All the comments from the riders are very good and the track played exceptionally well,” Bailey told Racing Network at the completion of this morning’s barrier trials.

“Everything looks very good.

“I can see absolutely no reason why we won’t be on target to resume racing here in a few weeks.”

Melbourne Racing Club Track Manager Tim Bailey was also very pleased with the outcome and is looking forward to seeing racing return to Sportingbet Park.

“We are all very happy with the result of the track,” Tim Bailey said.

“It’s been almost six months since we raced and it will probably take twelve months of racing to really appreciate what we have done.”

“It does appear we have really achieved the result we are looking for.”

Premiership winning jockey Luke Nolen was back in action at this morning’s Sportingbet Park trials and rode  smart sprinter-miler Speediness to a narrow win over Wez Hunter’s rejuvenated galloper Smokin’ Joey.

The Sandown track had been out of action since September forcing the Melbourne Racing Club to run its feature 2013 Spring Carnival Sandown Guineas meeting at Caulfield.

The Melbourne Racing Club is also planning major works for its Caulfield track to commence following the running of the 2014 Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield in October.

While the track is closed over the Spring and Summer periods, its scheduled meetings will be split up between Sportingbet Park at Sandown and Moonee Valley with the anticipated re-opening to be in time for the running of the 2015 Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in February.

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