Drainage issues at Tamworth jockey club

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Some $650,000 needs to be spent to improve drainage at Tamworth Racecourse after the severe drought “exacerbated” a drainage problem and recently led to a meeting being cancelled and another one being transferred, the Tamworth Jockey Club has said.

TJC general manager Kay Jeffrey said plans to fix the issue had been tabled by several drainage experts, and the TJC was discussing with Racing NSW and Racing NSW Country which one to implement.

Jeffrey said it was hoped the work would be carried out in October and November, the regular period for “renovations” at the course, so there would be no impact or a “minimal” impact on racing.

She said the combination of the clay base at the track and the drought meant that the track had become unsafe after recent rain, as water was not being absorbed quick enough.

The drought had highlighted the need to upgrade a drainage system that had not been overhauled for a long time, she added.

“The challenge of our track is we have that clay base, unlike your Port Macquaries and Coffs Harbours that have that sand base. They tend to drain easier,” Jeffrey said.

“With that clay base, we have to make sure that what we do [drainage wise] gets the water away at the desired rate … and make sure we do it once and do it right.” 

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