Strong fields set to test new Albury track

Border jockey Abby Stubbs tests out the new track ahead of Saturday's first meeting at Albury.
Border jockey Abby Stubbs tests out the new track ahead of Saturday's first meeting at Albury.

ALBURY’S decision to suspend racing on its new track through the winter months has paid dividends with strong fields running in Saturday’s meeting.

The club has been in limbo since the autumn while the new course proper, laid down at a cost of $1.2 million, has been given time to consolidate.

“It was our decision and we believe we have done the right thing by everyone by giving the track ample time to bed down and consolidate,” club chief executive Michael Wighton said.

“Holding meetings on a new track during the winter months would not have done the surface any favours.

“Obviously now is the time to showcase the track and see the improvement that have been generated from the work that has been carried out.

“We’ve got consistent drainage now and it’s become an all-weather track.

“We believe we now have one the best racing surfaces anywhere in NSW and the entries for Saturday’s TAB meeting seem to support that view.”

Saturday’s inaugural St Vincent de Paul Society Community Race Day attracted 151 entries for seven races.

Wighton paid tribute to trainers from across the Border for their patience over the past few years.

“They have been working horses on the grass for a couple of weeks now and getting a feel for it,” he said.

The meeting starts a busy schedule for the club with its traditional feature spring meetings on Cox Plate Day (October 28), Melbourne Cup Day (November 7) and Oaks Day (November 9).