I NEARLY choked on my cornflakes when an email from Racing Victoria hit my desk last Friday.
It said the Moonee Valley track was being given time to further prepare for a big season and that two Saturday meetings in June would be transferred elsewhere, giving the track further time to consolidate after its autumn renovation.
Now that’s a smart move. Don’t over race on a track that is one of your premier venues when you need it later this year when TAB turnover is at its peak.
But what had me gasping for air was that one of those meetings was transferred to Flemington.
Are they mad?
As a result of that decision, Flemington will now hold four meetings in the space of 18 days.
Where’s the logic in that?
We saw them try and protect the track last Wednesday, with the rail out a ridiculous 15 metres, only for Saturday’s program, with the rail out six metres, to be rated a heavy (8) retrospectively for the running of the last race.
We had rain in Melbourne on Saturday – more than I and many expected – but the Flemington of old wouldn’t have raced heavy.
Even when the track was rated slow there were massive clumps of turf being thrown up by horses – something you don’t see on some tracks when it’s a heavy (10).
The Victoria Racing Club and Racing Victoria clearly have their heads in the sand when it comes to the state of the Flemington track.
It doesn’t appear to be racing unsafely, so they can continue to race on it as much as they like, but they are kidding themselves if they think they are going to throw up a ripping surface for the spring carnival.