Benalla club could face sanctions

Benalla club could face sanctionsThe embattled Benalla Racing Club could face sanctions from Racing Victoria after Sunday’s meeting had to be called off due to safety issues.

The meeting was abandoned before the first race when jockeys raised concerns over a section of the home straight between the 400 and 250 metres which was in the slow range compared to the rest of the track which was dead.

Racing Victoria’s chief operating officer Bernard Saundry said the track, which was irrigated on race morning, had not been prepared as required.

“Unfortunately for all the track was not prepared in accordance with our track preparation policy,” Saundry said.

“The track was downgraded from a Dead 4 to Dead 5 upon arrival by Racing Victoria stewards with the section between the 400m and 250m mark downgraded to a Slow 6.

“Furthermore, a section of track at the 300m mark was considered softer again and raised concerns for competing jockeys upon inspection.

“This breach of policy is unacceptable and we will now consider whether sanctions on the club are appropriate.”

Racing only returned to Benalla last month after drainage problems and renovations caused the closure of the track for racing for 12 months.