Two day meeting becomes one super day

MELBOURNE Aug 12 2016

A wet winter has forced the two-day Ballarat jumps festival into one "super" day of jumping.

The meeting on Saturday week has been transferred to Horsham in country Victoria to be a flat program with the two programmed jumps races switched to the following day at Ballarat.

Six jumps races, four hurdles and two steeplechase races including the Grand National Steeplechase, will be run along with two flat races for jumps jockeys.

The three-race Australia v Ireland Jumps Challenge will be conducted featuring Irish jockey Katie Walsh, the sister of Ruby Walsh who made a flying visit to win last year's Grand National Steeplechase on Bashboy.

The Ballarat course has been deluged with more than 240mm since May and following the course reconstruction in 2014 there are areas of soil compaction in the home straight.

Covers and heaters are being used to try to dry out the worst affected parts.

Paul Bloodworth, Racing Victoria's racing operations manager, said the decision to transfer the meeting was made to ensure the feature jumps races could be staged on a suitable surface.


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