The 121st Yass Picnic Races were cancelled earlier this morning due to unsafe racing conditions for horses, however, the picnic part of the event is still to go ahead.
Racing NSW assessed the racetrack and deemed it unsafe for horses to race today due to overnight rain and the forecast of more wet weather to come.
Yass Picnic Race Club President Sam Longmore described cancelling the races a second year in a row as “gut-wrenching”.
“It’s hard, we’ve put in a lot of work, to the track and to all the areas and everything leading up to the races,” she said. “But it’s just about the safety of the jockeys and the horses on the track.”
“With the rain that we had yesterday, it is just a little bit slippery and we can’t have people hurting themselves just for a horse race.”
“It’s gut-wrenching but these things happen and they have to happen last minute,” she said. “We have to do everything we can do to try and get the races happening and unfortunately, the powers above say no.”
Sam said everything will still be as per normal just no horse races and they will get a couple of foot races happening on the track throughout the day.
The picnics are still to go ahead in a phantom race meet featuring fashions on the field, footraces, food and other fun activities.
A metropolitan bookie will also be at the Marchmont racecourse for punting on interstate races.
Sam said the weather at the track is quite nice this morning so fingers crossed the rain will hold off.
Reportedly the grounds where punters will largely be located aren’t sloppy with mud Sam said.
“It’s just the track itself that hasn’t held up to the weather yesterday,” she said. “I think if everyone can put the horse races aside and just enjoy themselves today as they would have anyway, it’ll be a cracker.”
By Brianna O’Rourke
Photo: Yass Picnic Races 2020 Best Dressed Lady Finalists