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Goodie addresses Flemington problems

The Flemington track will have a longer break after this year’s Melbourne Cup carnival amid criticism of the surface at the past two feature meetings.

The track came under fire from some participants for favouring horses on the inside section at the Australian Guineas meeting and Australian Cup meeting the past two Saturdays.

Speaking on Melbourne radio station RSN927 on Tuesday, Victoria Racing Club track manager Mick Goodie said there was no doubt there was an advantage to the inside.

“Blind Freddie would probably say there was something there,” Goodie said.

Goodie believes the issue is because of the amount of thicker kikuyu grass on the inside of the track, which was cut shorter ahead of the Guineas meeting.

“The best way to explain it is it’s like a thick woollen jumper compared to a cotton jumper,” he said.

“Kikuyu is the wool and the rye is the cotton.

“It has that effect of slowing the horses down. There are jockeys who would comment when that kikuyu is in full bloom, that it will slow them down.

“You try to cut it at a length that it won’t favour but it won’t hinder. Maybe I got that half an inch to an inch wrong.”

He also said there had been a lack of natural rainfall since November.

Goodie welcomed the news Flemington would be rested from the Saturday of Melbourne Cup week until New Year’s Day, giving him and his staff extra time to properly renovate the track rather than the traditional five weeks.

“Caulfield don’t race from Caulfield Cup Day to Boxing Day, so they get their gap,” VRC director of racing Martin Talty said.

“We have agreed that after Emirates Stakes Day, we won’t race again until January the 1st, so it gives Mick the time to get the track back in order.”

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