Gold Coasts, Sunshine Coast to share load as Ipswich keeps off grass
THE Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast will host midweek meetings over the next month as Ipswich is given every opportunity to make a full recovery from recent re-turfing of patches on the course.
Next Wednesday’s meeting will be held at Caloundra, with the April 29 meeting moving to the Gold Coast, meaning Ipswich will have a full month off heading into the winter carnival.
Ipswich Turf Club chief executive Brett Kitching said new turf, which was laid 12 months ago, has taken longer than expected to acclimatise and that has caused the bulk of the problems.
“The virgin turf which was laid hasn’t had its roots grow down as far as they need to and it has also taken time to adjust to the (higher levels of) salts in the water (which is used to irrigate the track). All of the mature turf doesn’t have a problem with it,” Kitching said.
The club has now re-turfed various patches five times in recent months, with rain affected meetings on March 13 and 18 causing the bulk of the damage.
Kitching said the reduction from 52 to 45 meetings next season would help, but all clubs needed to help during Eagle Farm’s absence.
“The last thing we should be doing is blaming everybody. We’re all in this together and we are all trying to do what we can for the industry,” he said.
UBET HITS THE ROAD
TATTSBET launched its first refurbished TAB on Thursday, with Merthyr Road making history as the first UBET-branded outlet.
It is the first in an estimated $80 million rollout over the next “three to five years” that the company hopes will revolutionise betting and re-invigorate its retail presence.
“People need to be mindful that retail is still 70 per cent of our business,” Tatts’ Chief operating officer Barrie Fletton said.
“The customer is at the heart of everything we do and we are out to deliver a thrilling punting experience.”
Merthyr Road has been described as “a Lab store” and feedback from punters will be used to tweak features ahead of an $80 million rollout in all other pubs, clubs and agencies in the next three to five years.