CAPTION: Richmond’s new track, described by many trainers as the best in Australia, opened in May and will get a wider audience when the club hosts the Derby-Oaks meeting on June 24.
By Chase Editor PAT McLEOD
The Richmond Race Club is looking forward to showcasing its new track to a wider audience when it hosts its major annual events, the finals of the Oaks and Derby on June 24.
The re-developed track has received plenty of plaudits since opening on May 13 and club secretary manager Leanne Barnes is confident those comments will be amplified after their major race night.
“We have been told by trainers that it is the best track in Australia, which is really nice to hear,” she said. “The lighting is absolutely fantastic and we’ve been told it’s ‘the Sydney Cricket Ground of the West’.
“Overall there has been a lot of very positive feedback. Heavy rain and flooding delayed our the work and our return to racing, but everyone involved has worked really hard to achieve a really good outcome.
The Richmond Derby and Richmond Oaks have long and illustrious honour rolls and both races are expected to attract quality fields.
“These are both $40,000 races and this is our biggest night of the year,” said Barnes.
“The focus of course is on the racing, but we also like to make it a real family night with attractions for all the family.”
The major support race on the June 24 meeting will be the Frank Kennedy Memorial, named in honour of an iconic sports media figure in NSW of the 1960s and 1970s.
Work started on the Richmond track soon after its final meeting at the of facility on February 11.
Among the work conducted at Richmond was track reshaping for better and safer geometry and transitioning of running surface, track sand surface replacement, and new dual carriage lure rail and post system to cater for a Safe Chase remote lure and a cable lure.
Two new adjusted starting positions were put in place, moving the old 535m start to 520m and the 330m start to 320m.
Adjustments were made to the existing Isolynx data and tracking system, and new LED light fittings were installed to light the track circumference. Track and infrastructure cosmetic upgrades were also completed.
The track circumference at Richmond has now increased from 457m to 463m, with the new racing distances being: 320m, 520m, 401m, 622m and 722m.
The NSW Government supplied funding of almost $700,000 from the Capital Grants Program for the Richmond upgrade.
Overall $1.3 million was spent on the Richmond redevelopment, one of the bigger projects Greyhound Racing NSW has undertaken in recent years along with the Grafton track rebuild and the construction of the Richmond Straight track.
The 2021 Derby final was taken out by the Justin King-trained Incapacitated, while Crazy Cool (Rob Tyler) won the 2021 Richmond Oaks.