Work begins on Rocky’s delayed lure rail replacement

\"\"By MIKE HILL

WORK on the long-awaited lure rail replacement at the Rockhampton greyhound complex began last month.

It is part of a major renovation for the track years in the making.

A new judges tower with a new camera position for Sky Racing vision as well as track surface improvements are included in the update.

The old lure system had been in operation for 37 years and had been subjected to many floods during that time.

A Racing Queensland official said the work was expected to take five weeks to complete.

The lure rail and post replacement project was planned for last year but was delayed when the NSW-Queensland border was closed due to COVID-19.

At the time Rockhampton’s long-serving president Nev Jackson said the project had been put on hold because the lure contractor was based in NSW.

“We are expecting the new rail to be installed some time in 2021,” Jackson said.

In 2018, Rockhampton benefited from a $326,000 track upgrade, which included the installation of a new reinforced base and racing surface designed to withstand all weather conditions.

The existing track was removed before a new base consisting of two geofabric layers either side of 150mm of road base was installed.

Last month the Rocky boss was upbeat that work was finally underway on the last of the club’s massive renovations.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for the new judges tower,” Jackson said.

“Money was approved for the tower about eight or so years ago but a change of government halted the project.

“The tower will be a great improvement for off-course punters.

“The video camera angle was atrocious, it was built at a time when there was no live off-course coverage.  It will now be easier for racecallers and off-course punters to judge the finish.

“The camera will be on the finish line where it should be. Pub and club punters will now have a clear view of the race and more importantly the finish.”

Jackson said the new lure rail system will be a massive boost for the club.

“It did well to last 37 years,” he said.

“During that time the rail and track have gone under water numerous times due to flooding.

“Once all the renovations are completed the track complex will be in its best ever condition.”

Work began immediately after the club’s May 19 meeting and racing is expected to reboot later this month.

Jackson said once Rockhampton resumes racing a Saturday program will be sandwiched between the club’s first two Wednesday night meetings.

The club’s scheduled race meetings on Wednesday June 2, Wednesday June 9 and Wednesday June 16 have been transferred to replacement Queensland greyhound venues.

The  replacement meetings and time slot changes are:

  • Bundaberg to race in the day timeslot Thursday, June 3;
  • Ipswich to race in the night timeslot Wednesday, June 9;
  • Ipswich to race in the night timeslot Wednesday, June 16;
  • Capalaba to race in day timeslot Thursday, June 17.

It is anticipated that the Rockhampton club will resume racing on Wednesday, June 23.

PAWNOTE: Rockhampton-based trainers (post code 4700 to 4740) travelling to the Bundaberg race meeting on Thursday, June 3, will receive a once-off travel subsidy payment of $150.

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