Goggin, Maskiell angry at decision on Elwick racing
TRACK RECORD: Leading trainer Charlie Goggin wants meetings moved rather than abandoned.Goggin said that the meeting was called off far too early and Maskiell described the decision, made after a track inspection late on Saturday afternoon, as “a huge error of judgement.”
Both reserved their harshest criticism for the fact that no attempt will be made to run the meeting midweek.
Neither Maskiell nor the State’s leading jockey Brendon McCoull were present during the track inspection. They arrived at Elwick shortly after.
“We walked the track by ourselves and agreed it was raceable,” Maskiell said.
Goggin said that while he didn’t believe it was up to him to decide if a track was safe – “because I don’t have to ride on it” – he could see no problems.
“As far as I’m concerned it was safe for racing – no problems whatsoever,” he said.
“I’d walked the track three or four times in the previous four days and I was really surprised when the meeting was called off on Saturday afternoon.
“I spoke on the phone to (chief steward) Johan Petzer and told him that I believed those who had inspected the track had made an error.
“I said that if it rained on Saturday night, they would be proved right but, if it didn’t, the track would dry out and be safe for racing.
“I walked the track again about 9am yesterday (Sunday) and it was fine.
“Gary White was there at the same time and said that, although he had doubts about the meeting on Saturday, he had now changed his mind.”
Goggin said that such an early decision should only be made if a track was underwater and there was clearly no hope of the meeting going ahead.
“That wasn’t the case this time – the track was heavy but safe near the inside fence, where no-one was going to go, and out wide it was dead to slow.”
Goggin questioned why washed- out Tasmanian meetings were continually being abandoned rather than postponed.
“To say, at this early stage, that the track would not be safe for racing by Wednesday is ridiculous,” he said.
“I get very nervous about clubs not wanting to hold race meetings.
“I’ve been assured that Tote Tasmania has nothing against holding these meetings midweek. (Chief executive) Terry Clarke has told me that he couldn’t see a problem with it, so it’s obviously the clubs that don’t want them.”
Maskiell said that jockeys were desperate for midweek racing after losing almost four entire meetings in the past two months.
“We need replacements for these abandoned meetings – not a couple of extra races added to next week’s programme,” he said.
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