EXTRA: Sugar Ray Red, ridden by Jimmy Orman during race 5 at Gatton last Tuesday.
EXTRA: Sugar Ray Red, ridden by Jimmy Orman during race 5 at Gatton last Tuesday. Ali Kuchel

Gatton takes on two race meets

RACING: Lockyer Race Club will host its second additional race meet this season on Friday after the Beaudesert track went under water.

Heavily hit by tropical cyclone Debbie, the Beaudesert Race Club sustained more than $1 million damage to their track.

Racing Queensland called upon surrounding clubs, including Gatton, to host their race meets until the track was repaired.

RQ CEO Eliot Forbes said Gatton was chosen because of its geographical location and the fact the two tracks were similar.

"The Lockyer Race Club has been very supporting of RQ and the wider industry and has accommodated requests over recent seasons during outages at other venues,” Forbes said.

Additionally, another Beaudesert meet was transferred to Kilcoy along with the two moved to Gatton.

"RQ is very appreciative of all the efforts of clubs, the Lockyer Racing Club included, which have assisted with the ramifications of the recent cyclone,” Forbes said.

The first of the two re-scheduled race meets was held in Gatton last Tuesday with the club experiencing higher than anticipated crowds.

Club president Terry Kirkwood said although they had limited time to advertise, the patron numbers were very high.

"It's all about helping Racing Queensland,” Kirkwood said.

This Friday, all gate takings at Burgess Park will be donated to Toowoomba trackwork riders Wade Clasohm and Ben Saunders who were hospitalised after a freak training accident last month.

"The racing industry is united and we try and help out as much as we can,” Kirkwood said.

"It's a high risk industry horse racing, but we do it for the passion.

"... you try and help as best you can as a club...”


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