• Toni Ambrogetti

Fears Armidale Cup might not run in 2020


Picture: Armidale Regional Council

ARMIDALE Jockey Club has transferred its January 28 meeting to Tamworth and, if the

drought and weather conditions continue, might have to start thinking about transferring

or calling off this year’s Armidale Cup.


That was the message from AJC secretary/manager Jim Dedes today before Hunter and

North Western Racing Association chief steward Shane Cullen inspected the bone-dry

Armidale track.


“We had 7mm last night,” he said.


“Had an inch just before Christmas but that’s been it. We have transferred the Tuesday,

January 28 meeting to Tamworth and we’ll have to make a decision on our Armidale Cup

meeting in the next couple of weeks too.


“We are in the lap of the gods. If we get rain we’ll be right but if we don’t get rain we

won’t be. It will depend a lot on what Shane (Cullen) says after the track inspection.”


Armidale has been forced to transfer three meetings to Gunnedah so far over the past

six months due to the lack of water and Tamworth will hold the next meeting following

its JT Fossey Tamworth Country Music Cup Showcase meeting on Thursday, January 23.


“We took a couple of meetings for Tamworth a few years ago when they couldn’t race so

this is just a little payback,” Mr Dedes said.


“It’s good for both clubs. The transferred meetings at Gunnedah have been good too

with good fields. We’re not the only club in this situation. Orange has been forced to

close for the time being and a number of other clubs are in a similar position.”


Tamworth Jockey Club general manager Mitch Shaw welcomed the January 28 meeting

transfer.


“It’s unfortunate for Armidale, I had a look at their track the other day and it didn’t look

too bad,” he said.


“It is a shame they’ve had to transfer meetings and I do hope they don’t lose their Cup

meeting.”


He said the TJC will be able to run the January 28 meeting without any problems.


“Our track is looking good,” he said.


“We had 7mm last night and that followed 17mm the week before. That bit of rain has

greened everything up a bit.


“It’s going to be a busy time for us too with the JT Fossey Country Music Cup meeting on

the 23rd.


"It’s a Showcase meeting as well and then the transferred meeting on the 28th."


RacingNSW advised there are some distance amendments to races on January 28: F & M Benchmark 58 Hcp was 1100m - now 1000m; C,G & E Benchmark 58 Hcp was 1100m - now 1000m; Class 2 Hcp was 1300m - now 1200m; Class 1 Mdn Plate was 1900m - now 2100m; Maiden Hcp was 1100m - now 1000m; Maiden Plate was 1300m - now 1200m.




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