Racegoers leave track in frustration | Inside Racing

MEET: Woodford Racing Club will meet with the Warrnambool Racing Club this week to discuss issues experienced at its New Year's Eve races.
MEET: Woodford Racing Club will meet with the Warrnambool Racing Club this week to discuss issues experienced at its New Year's Eve races.

THE Woodford Racing Club will meet with the Warrnambool Racing Club this week to discuss Sunday’s New Year’s Eve race meeting which saw some racegoers leave the track frustrated and in disgust.

Among complaints from patrons to The Standard were a lack of cold refreshments, understaffing and locked toilets which led to patrons leaving the course half-way through the race meeting.

Woodford Racing Club is a tenant club at Warrnambool using its facilities, staff, and infrastructure at a cost of $30,000 for the popular once-a-year meeting.

Patrons, who paid $20 to enter the course realised after race one of the understaffing issues as long queues awaited them to be served cold refreshments from bars. Crowd numbers for the day were estimated at 5200 up 2600 patrons on last year’s meeting.

Woodford Racing Club president Peter Haynes said he had listened to various complaints from some racegoers.

“It’s disappointing to have the complaints but we don’t manage staff or the bars,” Haynes said.

“The crowd was a lot bigger than we expected but on the other hand we should have picked up on that as we had a high level of inquiry going into the meeting. It was a record crowd for us. I would say the majority of patrons had an enjoyable day and stayed on to listen to the band after the races.”

An avid Warrnambool racegoer, who wished not to be named, attended the meeting with his young family and said he was extremely disappointed with the day.

“It’s just not good enough what’s been served up,” he said.

“I’ve been coming to the races at Warrnambool for 30 years. I think it was badly organised on what is usually a big day for racing in Warrnambool. I feel it was a bad advertisement for racing.”

Warrnambool Racing Club in a tweet described the attendance as a “great turn out”. 

“The lines to get a drink at the bars were bigger than we’d like. We’ll work on it for 2018 Woodford Cup,” the tweet said.

Warrnambool Racing Club chairman Nick Rule, who was on-course, declined to make a comment to The Standard about the issues only saying he will meet with his Woodford counterpart as early as Wednesday.

Country Racing Victoria will undoubtedly keep a close eye on what happened and will take measures to ensure the same does not occur at future feature meetings.

Triple  

WARRNAMBOOL trainer Daniel Bowman took time out to thank his loyal owners and staff after he trained three winners at the Woodford meeting on his home track on Sunday.

Bowman, who has been training since 2014, trained the first two winners Roddandtodd and Wessels before rounding off the day with Judges winning the last of eight races. He said having a treble is a milestone in his short career.

“It’s a significant day for the stable to have three winners at the Woodford meeting,” he said.

“We sponsored a race on the day and to train three winners in front of so many family and friends on a big race day in Warrnambool is a great result. I’ve got to acknowledge my family,  hard-working staff and our loyal owners. It’s a wonderful result for all of them.”

Roddandtodd had been a lazy track worker but had always shown some ability, according to Bowman.

“It was a good win by Roddandtodd as I rated it a pretty hot maiden field,” he said.

“We gelded him at the end of his last campaign and that’s just turned him around. I think the blinkers keep him pretty focused. He’s got a laid-back attitude and has been lazy on the track but I think he’s just starting to learn what it’s all about.”

Wessels finally broke his maiden at start number 14, following some unlucky runs.

“Wessels has been a frustrating horse,” Bowman said. “I thought he would have won his maiden before today. He’s been unlucky on some occasions. With any luck, the penny may have dropped with him.”

Judges returned to racing following a break with a strong win in a restricted race.

“We’ve had no luck with Judges,” he said.

“He was scratched at the barriers on Ballarat Cup Day and then was an emergency at Moonee Valley last week. This class of race really suited him. I was very confident going into the race. I thought it was a gutsy ride by Liam (Riordan) and it was a great result for my team at home because Judges can be a difficult horse to handle.”

Success

POPULAR Bushfield trainer Maureen Harry broke a run of outs when Miss Pistolaro was successful in a maiden plate at Penshurst on Boxing Day.

The former Chris Waller galloper Radioactive was Harry’s last winner back in March 2016 and the hobby trainer was thrilled with the victory of Miss Pistolaro in the 1284 metre race.

“Miss Pistolaro is one of two horses that I’ve got in work,” the hobby trainer said.

“We haven’t had many runners because we only potter around with one or two. Miss Pistolaro has only had the five runs for me. It took her a while to get used to the change in environment from a metropolitan stable to the quiet life at Bushfield. She had been unlucky in a couple of her runs for us. I’m confident she’ll be suited to races over a bit more ground than the 1284 metres in the future.”

Miss Pistolaro picked up $7200 for her maiden win over Delicate Glance.

Suspended

APPRENTICE jockey Anthony Boyd felt the wrath of stewards at Warrnambool on Sunday after weighing-in overweight following his ride on Letsahope which ran third in a maiden plate.

Boyd pleaded guilty to the charge that he was 0.5kgs over his declared riding weight for the 1400 metre race. His suspension commenced at midnight on January 1 and expires midnight January 6. Stewards took into account his guilty plea, good riding record and the head margin between second and third which, in the opinion of the stewards, may have affected the placings.

Preparation

WITH the prospect of hot weather later in the week, the Warrnambool track will be watered extensively during the week to prepare the course  for the annual Koroit race day on Sunday.

Warrnambool Racing Club racecourse manager Daniel Lumsden said early weather predictions are for hot weather on Friday and Saturday.