Port Macquarie Race Club track makeover

Strong start: Port Macquarie Race Club chief executive officer said 2017 is looking to be a positive year, with the club already experiencing strong membership numbers.

Strong start: Port Macquarie Race Club chief executive officer said 2017 is looking to be a positive year, with the club already experiencing strong membership numbers.

The Port Macquarie Race Club track has had a $3.7 million makeover, which is set to improve safety standards and benefit the sport by making it fairer. 

“We haven’t got that situation where horses were going to the outside rail when the track was wet, it looks a lot better racing and you haven’t got horses knocking each other over,” chief executive officer Michael Bowman said. 

The renovation took place from December 1, 2016  until January 1, 2017 to fix an issue with drainage. 

Mr Bowman said the club now has the tools to look after the track properly. 

“The club is expected to do that and that does cost money,” he said. 

“It’s a big investment and it’s got to be maintained.

“If you don’t maintain it you can start to lose meetings because your drainage is not working.” 

Mr Bowman credits the staff as being experienced in racing and crucial to the effectiveness of the club. 

He believes the prize money is still what attracts people to racing in Port Macquarie.  

The big name trainers from the cities are winning a lot of races. 

The club, Mr Bowman said is always looking at ways to improve horse training for owners from the Port Macquarie-Hastings region. 

Every year Mr Bowman said there will be maintenance to ensure the track is kept to a high standard. 

The track will be scarified annually to ensure that drainage can occur effectively. 

Port Macquarie Race Club hosted a meet on January 7 and Mr Bowman said the track held up well despite some rain in the morning. 

The next race meet is on Monday, January 23 and then the Arrowfield Queen of the North will be on February 3. 

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