Goulburn Abandonment Infuriates Trainers

Extended discussions surrounding a reconstruction of the Goulburn track have been going on for the past 12 months but that mattered not today.

Adam Dobbin

13 June 2019

Extended discussions surrounding a reconstruction of the Goulburn greyhound track have been going on for the past 12 months but that mattered not today.

Goulburn’s regular Thursday “Canberra meeting” was abandoned mid-morning, forced by overnight rain and the track’s inadequate drainage system.

The racing surface was unable to be rectified to a safe condition in just a few hours and some trainers had already arrived at the track when the abandonment was announced.

“The club understands the frustration of all participants,” Goulburn Secretary Patrick Day said.

“My staff work tirelessly to have the track in the best condition it can be but we are working with changing climatic conditions and poor drainage.

“The track preparation for Tuesday, for example, starts on Sunday and we look at all forecasts very closely. Appropriate water is applied but in winter, especially, if we get unforeseen rain, the drainage is stressed and appropriate drying time is just not there to deliver a safe surface.”

The Goulburn Club is advocating for a new track and, with that, the abandonment’s – unless forced by a major weather incident – will surely be a thing of the past.

“With a new track, we will have the latest technology regarding drainage, a new racing surface and lights for night racing,” Day added.

“A properly engineered project will take up to four months to complete and we are hopeful of getting started shortly.”

The NSW Government allocated $30m for track upgrades and infrastructure in 2017 and very little of that budget has been spent.

Centres of Excellence around the state are planned with work on a new track at Grafton set to commence after next month’s big winter carnival.

With due respect to participants, GRNSW and the Government needs to act promptly on Goulburn’s path forward.

Frustrated owners and trainers deserve better – a meeting should surely not be lost due to just millimetres of overnight rain.

The time for talk is over, action must be taken.