All tracks lead to Echuca

April 17, 2018

Carlingford wins the sixth at Seymour on April 10. Hit in the face by a dirt clod the four-year-old gelding needed major surgery to try and save one of its eyes. Photo: Brett Holbert/RACINGPHOTOS

ECHUCA has picked up an unexpected race meeting after two horses were badly injured at Tuesday’s Seymour races.

It is still feared both horses may lose an eye after being struck in the face by clods of dirt during the sixth race.

Ongoing concerns about the state of the track have seen Racing Victoria transfer Seymour’s April 23 meeting to Echuca.

It has been a bad week for country racing with Kilmore forced to abandon its Thursday meeting after its was sabotaged; with steel pickets driven into the track near the 400m mark.

At Seymour connections of Matty and race winner Carlingford (ridden by Fred Kersley) said their horses finished up with serious eye injuries after their race.

Mick Sell Racing posted a picture of Carlingford on social media at the weekend – after the four-year-old gelding had undergone surgery in an attempt to save its eye.

The stable said the horse would require ongoing treatment and a layoff in a darkened area to give it every chance of recovery.

Apart from the injuries it was also a demoralising outcome for the Seymour Racing Club after more than $5 million was spent on a new track in 2015 to end constant problems with the racing surface.

Tuesday’s meeting was the club’s first since December 21 and oversized clods could be seen thrown up by hooves of the horses in every race – with the injuries the final straw.

On Friday Racing Victoria stepped in and transferred the next meeting, but no decision has been made on the club’s remaining meetings this season – May 10, May 25, June 7, June 20, July 2 and July 19.

“The decision to transfer the meeting was made in consultation with the Seymour Racing Club, with both parties expressing their disappointment at the performance of the track during its eight-race program on Tuesday, 10 April,” the RV statement said.

“Tuesday was the first meeting back for the Seymour Racing Club since December and unfortunately the track was not performing at the level anticipated following the four-month break,” it said.

“Various soil and turf tests have been conducted since the meeting in an attempt to determine the likely cause of the issues and help rectify the matter.

“However, while the results of these tests remain outstanding and the issue continues to be investigated, RV, in consultation with the club, has taken steps to transfer the scheduled meeting for next Monday to Echuca.”

The transfer has caused one distance change in the $22,000 Maiden Plate from 2000m to 2100m.

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