Lismore Turf Club is gearing up
THE construction of 20 more tie-ups at the Lismore Turf Club can’t come quickly enough judging by the enormous number of acceptances for the Professional Investment Services Christmas Cup Race Day.
The club has taken the unprecedented step of apologising to the owners and trainers of horses balloted out of the meeting tomorrow.
There were 205 nominations and 175 acceptances, but the TAB program had to be restricted to eight races rather than dividing a race and extending it to nine.
“We have only 82 tie-ups at present and we simply don’t have the ability to accommodate so many horses,” the club’s secretary-manager, Michael Timbrell, said yesterday.
“There is a safety issue involved here for stable staff as well as the horses.
“We have received part funding from the Country Racecourse Development Fund to build another 20 tie-ups and ironically the footings are going in now and the slab will be poured early on Friday morning.
“We had hoped to have tie-ups completed for this meeting but a building of that size on flood-prone land requires design and engineering, and that takes time.”
Timbrell said that at a previous meeting this year where there were a large number of acceptances the club had tried to do the right thing by extending the meeting to nine races and ran into a whole host of problems.
“No one was happy and we were not prepared to create those problems again,” he said.
“The club is delighted with the response to the meeting from owners and trainers and can do nothing but apologise to those connections whose horses missed a run.
“Once the new tie-ups are completed, at a cost of $76,000, and we have 102 stalls, we will not face this problem again.
“As long as we don’t run into any construction difficulties, the new tie-ups will be ready for our first meeting of 2010 on Monday, February 15.”