Cup half full: Bathurst club's suspension re-imposed

BY the end of the Bathurst Cup meeting on Sunday afternoon, Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing members would have been pleased with the job they had done after recent issues with Racing NSW and a brief suspension.

But once more this week the club is in a state of uncertainty after a mysterious decision to re-impose the suspension that they suffered after their abandoned January 17 meeting where sections of the track had been over and under-watered.

That came on the back of troubles in November last year also when sprinklers popped up on the track midway through a race.

In the wake of that ban, club members worked overtime to sort out technical issues and ensure that the cup meeting could go ahead.

Their efforts were rewarded, and a successful eight-race card went off seemingly without a hitch on Sunday.

Racing NSW officials had issued a statement on February 12 saying that the ban would be lifted initially just for the cup meeting, with an assessment to be conducted at the meeting itself and a decision on the future to be made afterwards.

At the time Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys was relatively clear in what he felt the Bathurst club needed to show.

“While we are seriously concerned about the events of November 1 last year and the loss of the race meeting on January 17 which led to the suspension of the club’s licence, this provides BTC the opportunity to demonstrate that it has its house in order,” he said at the time.

But the Bathurst club’s general manager Michelle Tarpenning was stunned to find out on Wednesday that the suspension was to be re-instated.

“I’m yet to receive anything official from Racing NSW,” Tarpenning said.

“I’ve been told that they found some operational issues on Sunday but I have absolutely no idea what they are. We haven’t received anything in writing yet.

“Honestly I cannot begin to know what could possibly be the issue here, everything went smoothly.

“It was a great day, all the trainers were happy with the state of the track and how things went, I have absolutely no idea what the problem could be.”

The next meeting for the BTC is scheduled for March 17, a Monday seven-race program which leaves two and a half weeks to get the ban lifted.

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