Ballinrobe’s Flat future to be discussed following Monday abandonment

Tue 14 Aug 2018

Discussions will take place before any decision is made over the future of Flat racing at Ballinrobe after the track’s meeting on Monday was abandoned midway through the card.

The fixture was halted after only three races due to horses losing their footing, leading clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer to question whether the course has a future on the level.

As that was the final Flat meeting scheduled for 2018, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board chief executive Denis Egan underlined that there is no hurry to make a decision on future plans.

He said: “We will discuss everything with all the relevant parties.

“There is no need for any immediate decision and we will endeavour to cover everything.”

Andrew Coonan, president of the Irish Jockeys Association, believes it would be the wrong move to take Flat racing away from Ballinrobe and feels the recent warm weather contributed to the problem.

“There were a number of riders who felt horses slipping in the first couple of races,” Coonan told At The Races.

“They had a look after race one and tried to alleviate it, but after race three and discussions with several people, they decided the best course of action was to call the meeting off.

“Our concern would be the suggestion from Lorcan that it might be it for Flat racing at Ballinrobe. It’s an excellent team led by John Flannelly and it’s one of the good tracks in the west of Ireland, it would be a shame to not have Flat racing there.

“The jockeys who were consulted and gave their view certainly weren’t suggesting Flat racing should finish. They thought it was a one-off situation that occurred on the night, but one that can be resolved.

“We’re privileged in Ireland that the riders have great working relationships with clerks of the courses and we all know Lorcan is a perfectionist who presents an excellent track, and he did so on the night. The riders commented the track was really well laid out.

“He’d always be concerned with any issues, which I can understand, but the reality is this was an unfortunate, one-off scenario.

“We did have some problems at the last meeting with two horses slipping, but one of the unique features of our summer is the drought and I think that is one of the problems in there somewhere.”

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