Top curator to lead overhaul of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club track

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
The opening of the racing season has been moved from Kalgoorlie to Esperance.
Camera IconThe opening of the racing season has been moved from Kalgoorlie to Esperance. Credit: Amber Lilley/Kalgoorlie Miner

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club chairman Harry Donald says a leading curator will be enlisted to oversee restoration work of the track after the March 15 season opener was this week officially moved to Esperance.

Amid a scorching heatwave that had affected all of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s grounds and ovals, Donald conceded last week the track was “in poor condition in certain areas.”

It was inspected again this week by visiting officials before a decision was made to transfer the opening meeting to the south coast.

Donald said on Friday he hoped it would be a one-off measure.

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“We had the people from RWWA come up yesterday (Thursday) to check the track (condition),” he said.

“Due to the drought and the fact we’re unable to water it as much as is needed, it may not be ready for the first meeting and they didn’t want to leave it (a decision) too late.

“There’s nothing we can do about it (but) we have arranged for RWWA to send up an expert track curator for the next six weeks.

“He arrives Monday and will be charged not just with getting the track up to standard for our Good Friday meeting but also protocols and procedures for future local track and ground staff to maintain and develop it for the future.

“It’s an investment in the future and we’ve been treated fairly by the city council, but there is no water in Kalgoorlie and the rain that was supposed to come this week looks to me like it will be minimal, if anything.”

Donald reiterated that safety was the top priority.

“You can’t have a race meeting without a safe track,” he said.

“The reason it is unsafe is because there are patches where it’s lush and patches where it’s varied.

“It has been compounded by the fact that we haven’t had a permanent track and grounds person for a couple of months and we’re trying to find one.

“Basically it’s all about water and it’s out of our control, which is fortunate for Esperance.

“But a lot of those horses that would have been here for that meeting will be racing in Esperance in any event.

“We believe it (the KBRC track) is probably two or three weeks away (but) it’s not an indictment on the racing club, I can tell you that.

“It’s purely the fact that with the drought conditions we have at the moment, we have not been able to water the track as much as needed to keep it in racing condition.”

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