Racing will be temporarily suspended from the Mount Gambier Racing Club to allow for aggressive treatment of a weed infestation compromising the integrity of the track surface.
Officials from Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) and the Mount Gambier Racing Club, together with local trainers, this week reluctantly agreed to cease racing at the site.
The industry will work collaboratively with all South East clubs to keep disruptions to a minimum and ensure continuity of the region’s racing program.
Fortunately, Mount Gambier trainers will still have use of their inside grass track and the sand surface for training purposes.
Further details around changes to race meetings will follow shortly, however next Wednesday’s scheduled Mount Gambier meeting has already been transferred to Naracoorte.
TRSA chief executive officer Nick Redin said the Mount Gambier track needed time for effective regenerative treatment.
“In recent times, the Mount Gambier track has failed to improve and has been overtaken by the poa grass weed, compromising the integrity of the racing surface,” Mr Redin said.
“Grass weeds like poa are a major problem because they compete with the racing surface grass for growing space, water, nutrients and sunlight.
“As a result, the Mount Gambier track will now be given time to recover from this aggressive treatment, with spring and early summer being key growing periods for the racing surface.
“It’s far from an ideal situation, but these measures are in the best interests of the industry and its participants in the medium and long term.”
Mr Redin said drainage at the track had been “flowing well”, but noted the racing surface was still young, and that it needed to be preserved for the future.