Warwick Farm misses out

Warwick Farm has lost its premier race day for 2009 with the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) deciding to transfer the March 7 Chipping Norton Stakes meeting to Randwick.

The Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) is named for the south western Sydney suburb where Warwick Farm is situated and is the only Group One race at the track.
AJC chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk said the the club feared the track, which is also a major training facility, would not be able to withstand the heavy workload especially with the current weather patterns.
“We acknowledge this meeting’s historic link to its traditional home at Warwick Farm and this decision has not been taken lightly, but it is in the best interests of all in racing that we transfer the meeting, Smyth-Kirk said.
“Warwick Farm is the most heavily used training facility in Australia and with three race meetings in a short space of time combined with the volatile weather conditions we are currently experiencing and that are forecast to continue, the track could be placed under undue pressure.
“The meeting is one of the most important of the autumn for horses being aimed at the major AJC and STC carnival features.
“This transfer will allow more members, punters and racegoers to attend the meeting and enjoy a high quality race day as a prelude to the autumn carnival.”
The AJC made the decision in consultation with Racing NSW and the meeting will be run on the course proper with the rail in the true position.
The rail will be out three metres for the Randwick Guineas meeting the following week.
Warwick Farm will host its next race meetings on February 25 and March 9.