Darwin to host Adelaide River Cup due to track concerns

Fannie Bay racing is flying despite it being the wet season in the Top End.
Fannie Bay in Darwin will host the Adelaide River Cup once again in 2023.

For the second straight year, the annual Adelaide River Cup race meeting in the Northern Territory, scheduled for June 3, will be relocated to Darwin.

The meeting is unable to proceed at its traditional home at Adelaide River – 100km south of Darwin – due to a significant amount of rain during the wet season, which has rendered the grass track unsafe for racing.

After an inspection late last week by Thoroughbred Racing Northern Territory representatives and club officials, it was decided that the condition of the surface, as well as historic damage caused by feral pigs, would not allow a safe racing surface in just five weeks time.

There has been well over 1.7m of rain to fall on the track this wet season, and some areas are simply too wet to even get machinery on to mow the grass.

This will be the third time in the last four years that Adelaide River has been unable to race, following on from a Covid-19 cancellation in 2020 and then the feral pig damage of 12 months ago.

READ: Adelaide River Cup relocation ‘sad’ news for locals

However, in positive news for the NT racing industry, the meeting will proceed at Fannie Bay Racecourse, with the same programme, on June 3.

The majority of horses that would normally race at Adelaide River are trained in Darwin, so the retention of the race day, so as not to inconvenience horses and participants preparing for the upcoming Darwin Cup Carnival, is crucial.

The Thoroughbred Racing NT Board is to meet this weekend in Alice Springs and the Adelaide River Show Society Race Club track issues will be on the agenda.

It is hoped that TRNT and the club can look at possibly moving the date of the meeting later in 2024 to avoid the wet that has unfortunately affected this year’s meeting.

The Adelaide River track is the only grassed-surface in the NT with the Adelaide River Show Society Race Club previously hosting two meetings a year before a decision was made to schedule just the stand alone Cup meeting in early June.

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