The Championships 2015: Abandoned Randwick meeting could cost NSW racing industry $10 million in lost betting turnover   Leave a comment

The Championships 2015: Abandoned Randwick meeting could cost NSW racing industry $10 million in lost betting turnover

Randwick races called off due to heavy rain

Randwick races called off due to heavy rain

THE Easter Saturday washout of Day One of The Championships at Royal Randwick is likely to cost the NSW racing industry an estimated $10 million in lost betting turnover.

But the safety of jockeys and racehorses was the primary consideration behind the decision to postpone the Derby-Doncaster meeting until Monday.

“You can make millions of dollars but that won’t buy a life,’’ Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys told The Sunday Telegraph.

“We were not going to put jockeys and horses at risk, the dollars didn’t come into it.

“Safety is paramount — everything else you worry about later.’’

I’VE ALREADY PLACED BETS, WHAT HAPPENS TO THAT?

It was estimated NSW TAB would have held more than $18 million in bets on the Randwick races on Saturday.

With the transfer of the meeting to Monday, TAB betting holds are likely to be down at least $5 million as Saturday is always the most popular with punters. This figure is doubled once corporate bookmaker holds are included.

WHAT THE WASHOUT MEANS TO BETTING MARKETS: MONEY TRAIN

The decision to postpone Randwick was made just after 9am when the track conditions became extremely heavy and information from the Weather Bureau indicated rain would continue to fall throughout the day.

Racing NSW didn’t waste time postponing the meeting, making the safety of jockeys and rac

Racing NSW didn’t waste time postponing the meeting, making the safety of jockeys and racehorses their sole priority. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: News Corp Australia

It was the first time in decades a Group 1 race meeting was postponed in Sydney. This meant there was not a race run in the metropolitan and provincial area on Saturday but it was still a day of drama including:

THE Derby-Doncaster meeting was postponed and will now be run at Royal Randwick on Monday.

With daylight savings ending overnight, this has necessitated changes to race times. The first race on Monday will be at 11.25am, the last on the 10-event program at 5pm.

KEMBLA Grange races on Saturday were abandoned due to the heavy track.

THE Warwick Farm meeting originally scheduled for Monday has been transferred to Wednesday.

Day One of the Championships has been postponed until Monday April 6

Day One of The Championships has been postponed until Monday. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: News Corp Australia

Race morning scratchings on Saturday are reinstated meaning Moriarty and It’s Somewhat are back in the Doncaster Mile field, leaving Sweynesse and Kermadec as emergencies.

Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy conceded making the decision to postpone the Derby-Doncaster meeting was difficult but necessary.

“Any decision we made was going to be the criticised,’’ Murrihy said.

“We might have got through the first couple of races before having to call the meeting off, which I’m certain would have happened, then everyone would have said why didn’t you make that call earlier?’’

Stewards were concerned for jockey and horse safety after heavy rain

Stewards were concerned for jockey and horse safety after heavy rain. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: News Corp Australia

Murrihy and ATC track officials Lindsay Murphy and Nevesh Ramdhani walked the track at 6am and declared the surface a heavy 9 but suitable for racing. Within three hours the situation was very different.

“Rain continued to fall, it was heavy at times, and the track was extremely heavy,’’ Murrihy continued.

“The forecast was terrible and we realised there was no way we would have got through the day. Safety and visibility had become a pressing issue so we decided to postpone until Monday.’’

ATC chief executive Darren Pearce said stewards had no alternative given the heavy track conditions and continuing wet weather.

“We didn’t want punters and race fans coming here only to leave after two races — people lose a bit of faith in you if you do that to them,’’ he said.

The bleak Sydney skyline reflects the appalling conditions at Randwick. Picture: Sam Rutt

The bleak Sydney skyline reflects the appalling conditions at Randwick. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: News Corp Australia

The ATC confirmed that all general admission and hospitality tickets — with the exception of Little Sydney — would be valid for Monday’s meeting, but all other ticketholders will have the option of receiving a refund.

Visiting Hong Kong-based jockeys Zac Purton and Joao Moreira will be able to stay in Sydney with no racing at Sha Tin until Tuesday.

Racing Victoria stewards have allowed jockeys originally riding at Randwick a release from their Melbourne rides at Sandown on Monday to return to Sydney to fulfil their major race engagements.

Jockeys Damien Oliver, Craig Williams, Nick Hall, Glen Boss, Dwayne Dunn, Chad Schofield and Vlad Duric were set to ride at Randwick on Saturday.

What happens to bets already place?

TAB Australia has confirmed that bets on races 4,6,7,8,9 still stand.

Country Championship Final

Sires Produce Stakes

Australian Derby

TJ Smith Stakes

Doncaster Mile

All others will be refunded.

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Posted April 5, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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