Frustrating day on track for race club officials and patrons

Raceday patrons watch the races on the big screen at the Bushland Drive track on Tuesday.
Raceday patrons watch the races on the big screen at the Bushland Drive track on Tuesday.

MANNING Valley Race Club chairman Greg Coleman said Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup day meeting at Bushland Drive was the most frustrating he'd experienced on a race track … and it had nothing to do with the punt.

A power surge at 11.30am caused major damage to the communication rack at the track, blacking out the TV screens and the TAB monitors. This wasn’t rectified until 5pm, two hours after the running of the Melbourne Cup.

The audio at the track also kept dipping in and out, leading to further complaints from patrons.

Fortunately, the big screen at the track wasn’t disrupted nor was Murray Nelson’s call of the five local races.

However, there was further drama just 10 minutes before the start of the Melbourne Cup when the big screen went blank. After frantic efforts transmission was resumed just as the field left the gates.

“We didn’t panic,’’ Mr Coleman said, managing a smile.

“But it was a difficult day.’’

Mr Coleman said there was nothing the club could do, nor is there anything the club can put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future.

“Everything was working fine until 11.30,’’ he said.

“But we can have all the TV screens in the world at the track – if we get a power surge, they aren’t going to work.’’

Mr Coleman said he fielded a number of complaints and he heard some punters left the track early. He said the crowd was on par with last year and said other than the power surge, there were no major incidents.