Return To Acton Track Racing

By Simon Dinopoulos

 The Canberra Race Club will host their first race meeting on the Acton track for this season on Friday with a number of preparations well underway.

 Four staff members with the aid of a boom lift took four hours to move the winning post from the Course Proper to the Acton Track.

 Featuring a photograph of Parliament House, the winning post was designed in a modular format, allowing staff to take it apart and move it between both tracks. 

 Along with the moving of the winning post, staff also had to move the photo finish camera. Also known as the mirror camera, it provides a reverse image, which if needed can assist the judge in a tight photo finish.

 The Canberra Race Club, Facilities and Race day Manager, Stephen Anthoney said the barrier trials held on Wednesday was their final test run before Friday’s meeting.

 “We had to wait until Wednesday before we could really test out all our equipment, there’s only so much we can do without actually testing it under race day conditions. Fortunately for us it all went well and our photo finish camera and timing all worked accordingly.” Anthoney said.

 Official Judge Sean Farrar has been the raceday judge at the Canberra Race Club for over 18 months and like a number of the local trainers he feels the transition during winter has proven to be very successful.

 “The Acton Track is a great initiative, particularly for a club such as Canberra, as it allows the club to maintain its strong profile throughout the winter season.” Farrar said.

 Farrar also judges at a number of other tracks across Southern NSW including Kembla Grange, Goulburn and Nowra. In addition to this he is also a part of the judge’s panel for the Australian Jockey Club, encompassing the Randwick and Warwick Farm tracks in the metropolitan area.

 Although he feels there aren’t as many tight finishes on the artificial surface, he said the track races very fairly with horses being able to win from anywhere in the field.

 “There is just nothing like you see horses racing four wide the whole trip going on to win.”  Farrar said.

 The Acton track will host the next six race meetings in the Canberra Race Club Calendar finishing with the Tony Campbell Cup in September.