UPDATE 3.05pm: Stewards were forced to abandon five races and reschedule the $100,000 HG Bolton Sprint to Wednesday after heavy rain caused a premature end to today’s Belmont Park meeting.
Three sections of the track – near the 1300m, 700m and just past the winning post – were deemed unsafe for racing and the meeting was called off after race two.
A waterlogged section of the track near the 1300m was of the greatest concern.
The track was hit by 25mm of rain after 9am this morning.
Race one was run over 1400m, but officials ordered the barriers to be moved out wider on the track to avoid the section of concern near the 1300m.
Several trainers were irate about the timing of the announcement and the fact they missed a final opportunity to win Westspeed bonuses, with the season ending after Wednesday’s meeting.
“We could have run the sprint races (1000m to 1200m)and we considered changing race three from 1600m to 1400m,” chief steward Brad Lewis said.
“But the track issues were too serious.”
Race one and two were delayed 35 minutes as senior jockeys, trainers and officials inspected the track.
Following the first race, Lewis and jockeys Shaun O’Donnell and Shaun Meeres inspected the area of the track near the 1300m and deemed it unsafe for racing.
Perth Racing general manager of tracks Cam Sutherland said: “The track was fine at 7am but the downpour at 11am was what hurt us”.
Stewards will inspect the Lark Hill track tomorrow to determine whether Monday’s trials can go ahead.
Pinjarra Race Club officials are confident their meeting scheduled for next Thursday will go ahead despite heavy rain this week and concerns with the track at their last meeting.
The track will be tested on Tuesday with horses galloping on the course proper.
Calabria Joe (Westspeed Nursery) and Jest Envy Her (Westspeed 3YO Handicap) won the first two races.
Calabria Joe, who beat Rodeo Drive by 1 ¾ lengths, was trainer Justin Warwick’s first two-year-old thoroughbred winner and continued a great run of success for his apprentice daughter, Lucy.
“With a young horse and young rider generally something can go wrong, but it was a perfect ride,” Justin Warwick said.
“Hopefully the horse has a bright future ahead.”