Costly: Coffs Harbour’s Pro-Ride track is relieving some of the pressure on grass racing surfaces.
Costly: Coffs Harbour’s Pro-Ride track is relieving some of the pressure on grass racing surfaces.

Bills mount for racing industry

ALL racing eyes are on the heavens when they should be on the horses.

Cancelled and transferred meetings have cost Northern Rivers Racing dearly in the last 11 days with the last completed meeting held at Bowraville on October 2.

Since then, Ballina has lost their second in a row – rumoured to have cost the club in excess of $150,000 – and while last Tuesday’s Grafton meeting was postponed until next Tuesday, living costs have to be found in the interim.

Preparations for horses and teams travelling out of the area have been disrupted with Gordon Yorke and his exciting youngster One Lickety Split calling the trip to Brisbane on the weekend.

In Coffs Harbour, chief executive officer Russ Atkinson is grateful for the blessing of the Pro-Ride track.

“Our next meeting comes up on October 22 and one eye will remain on the weather radar,” he said.

“But at least we’ve got the Pro-Ride to get some sort of work in if grass tracks are water-logged.”

All hasn’t been lost with Brett Bellamy winning at Eagle Farm with Lotsamoola and Brett Dodson claiming the winner’s cheque in the Port Macquarie Cup with Desert Bunny.

As far as the other industry participants are concerned, that pain on the wall is starting to look very appetising.



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