Free en­try for pun­ters af­ter race ‘roobel­lion’

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

THE Mareeba An­nu­als will still go ahead to­mor­row but with­out the horses af­ter long-tailed van­dals dug holes in the race­track.

The races have been moved to Cairns’ Can­non Park but pun­ters, par­ty­go­ers and fash­ion en­trants are still in­vited to the Mareeba Turf Club to let their hair down.

The de­ci­sion to move the races came on Wed­nes­day af­ter an in­spec­tion of the track by Rac­ing Queens­land, horse train­ers and Mareeba Turf Club of­fi­cials.

Ear­lier this year the club re­ceived a grant to put up a fence to help keep kan­ga­roos and wal­la­bies off the track but it has not been com­pleted.

Mareeba Turf Club sec­re­tary John Thur­low said it would be busi­ness as usual at the track to­mor­row, just with­out the live rac­ing ac­tion.

He said it was re­gret­table but promised every­one that the com­mit­tee would pro­vide plenty of off-track en­ter­tain­ment to make the day mem­o­rable.

“This year the wal­la­bies and kan­ga­roos have been worse than usual be­cause it has been so dry,” he said.

“The roo fence has not been com­pleted but hope­fully we won’t have this trou­ble in the fu­ture.

“Ev­ery af­ter­noon there are more than 100 wal­la­bies dig­ging up the track.

“Ob­vi­ously we’re up­set that we can’t have such a big race day on our track but it will still be a great day and we urge every­one to come along.”

Mr Thur­low said it would be a free en­try now and there would still be live en­ter­tain­ment, hu­man races, food, drinks and bet­ting avail­able.

Prizes will be up for grabs with off-track ac­tiv­i­ties and Fash­ions on the Field.

“Boxing Day is the next meet and the fence will be fin­ished and the track re­fur­bished in time for the day,” he said. Gates will open at 11am. For more up­dates see the Mareeba Turf Club Face­book page.

Pic­ture: BRON­WYN WHEATCROFT

Mareeba Turf Club pres­i­dent Bob Archie looks at the holes cre­ated by wal­la­bies and kan­ga­roos on the race­track.

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