January 21, 2016
The Australian Turf Club has gained approval from Racing NSW to move the Chipping Norton Stakes meeting at Warwick Farm on 27 February to Royal Randwick.
Heavy rain since the start of January, including severe storms last week, has delayed construction work of roads, and the laying of electrical cables, within and around Warwick Farm racecourse, as part of improvements for the Australian Turf Club and the building of the new Inglis sales complex.
Construction work on new car parks, and the repositioning of an intersection on Governor Macquarie Drive by Liverpool City Council, has also been delayed.
Work crews involved in the Inglis project have also uncovered underground services that were not on any previous surveying plans.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said the move was regrettable for the local Warwick Farm community but was essential for the smooth running of the first Group 1 meeting of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“Warwick Farm like the rest of Sydney has been hit with a lot of rain, especially over the past week, and it has impacted the extensive work being done across the racecourse precinct,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“There have also been cables and pipes essential to power and water services that have been located for the first time, and which would have impacted on the operation and amenity of a major raceday.
“We have worked hard with everyone to get things ready but we were not confident that we could provide the optimum experience for the industry, participants and our customers on such an important day.
“We wanted to make the decision early to give everyone as much notice as possible, and we were also mindful of the chance of further volatile weather through the end of summer.
“The ATC greatly values its relationship with the local Warwick Farm community and this traditional race day, so it was a decision we did not take lightly.’’
The change of venue to Royal Randwick has necessitated a change of distance for one race on the program, meaning the Benchmark 85 Handicap over 2200m will now be run over 2400m.
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