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Ipswich races called off on safety grounds

Racing Queensland has scheduled a replacement meeting after Ipswich set down for Wednesday was called off an hour before the first race because of the state of the track.

A Racing Queensland spokesman said a sprinkler had failed at the track on Monday night soaking a section of the track between the winning post and the 1500m.

He said stewards had inspected the track on Tuesday and rated the section a heavy nine but safe to race.

“However, after a further inspection on Wednesday and arguments from trainers and jockeys the track was deemed unsafe and the meeting called off,” he said.

QRIC chief thoroughbred steward Peter Chadwick said stewards had been continuously monitoring the condition of the Ipswich track after a malfunctioning sprinkler system flooded the track on Monday night.

“We chose to give it every opportunity to recover before today’s meeting,” he said.

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“Overnight weather conditions prompted stewards to call several jockeys in early to be present during the final track inspection.”

Mr Chadwick said the consensus of those senior riders was that while the majority of the course was safe for racing, the section of the track immediately past the winning post had not recovered sufficiently to allow the riders to safely restrain their horses on pulling up.

Racing Queensland added two races to the Sunshine Coast meeting on Sunday and scheduled a new meeting with fresh nominations for Tuesday.

Those nominations close at 10.30am on Thursday.

The secretary of the Queensland division of the Australian Trainers Association Cameron Partington said the situation was far from satisfactory.

“The meeting should have been called off on Tuesday but we will have to see what can be done to save it,” he said.

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