Lismore Turf Club stalled no more
RACING: It's been 18 months in the making but Lismore Turf Club finally has 20 new race-day stalls.
Well, almost. The stalls are yet to be roofed.
That will happen over the weekend – ideal timing with the club to hold its first meeting of the year on Monday.
The extension means an increase in holding capacity to 102 horses, a relief for trainers and officials in terms of logistics.
Club secretary Michael Timbrell has lobbied Racing NSW for financial assistance, with horse and handler safety the key issue.
“Previously, we would have trainers turn up with horses and if the stalls were full they would have to walk around in the car park,” Timbrell said.
“The new stalls allow us to have full fields on an eight-race card without those issues.”
The expansion has been vindicated already with 98 runners expected to turn out on Monday.
Further justification came after the club received more than 30 acceptances for the first race, a 1100m maiden.
“With the new stalls we were able to split the acceptors in half, run two races and keep everyone happy,” he said.
“Otherwise we would have had to knock back 15 simply because we could not accommodate them.”
The bill for the project will total about $80,000 with Racing NSW to kick in half through the country racecourse development fund.
“We got knocked back once,” Timbrell said.
“But after we illustrated the importance of the facility to the powers, they came on board.”
As well as new stalls, part of the old car park has been turfed, tripling the grass area which horses are warmed up on before entering the mounting yard.
“Our aim all along was to have completion by Monday’s race meeting, so it is great to be able to offer the new facilities,” Timbrell said.
The track yesterday was rated a heavy 8 but with sunshine should come up to the softer side of dead by race day.