Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/22

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Drainage. Starting Lane. Appoint- ments. Safety of Jockeys and Horses.

All these turns would be" unsafe with a grass track. The track is well-drained, and is available for use in practically all weathers. For the purposes, of 5^-furlong races, a special starting lane has been constructed off the course proper so as to afford approximately a furlong run before, the horses reach the first turn. The enclosures available to the public are three in number — the Members' Enclosure, the Paddock, and the Leger. There is no Mat. The Members' Enclosure contains a stand capable of seating some three to four hundred people. It is available to patrons who pay an extra fee as well as to members. This stand is modern and in good condition. The Paddock contains a fair-sized grandstand capable of seating about one thousand persons. Part of this stand is not covered. The structure is old, but appears to be sufficiently maintained. Under this stand are adequate refreshment rooms and other services. The Paddock, though small, is well laid out with lawns, flower gardens, and shade trees. •.< ■. ' An automatic Hodsdon totalisator in good - condition serves both ■ f i p ■• * i ■ - • ". ' Paddock and Leger Enclosures. The Leger stand is of considerable size, but contains little or no seating accommodation and is largely uncovered. Apart from this stand, no attempt has been made to improve this enclosure. Ample horse stalls of the usual type are provided. During all meetings a surgeon and an ambulance wagon are in attendance and a sufficiently appointed casualty room with two beds is available. A veterinary surgeon and a horse ambulance are also present. This course is safe for jockeys and horses but subject only to the fulfilment of the four . following conditions, that is to say, a . strict limitatipn of fields, constant supervision of its foundations, the maintenance of a sand surface of sufficient and uniform depth, and unremitting "vigilance by the stewards against interference during the running of %; race. ,C_ The maximum field at present permitted in races of 7 furlongs, 1 mile,, and 1J miles' is eighteen. For races of 5 J and 6| furlongs, the maximum is fifteen and fourteen respectively. In May, 1929, a strong petition, signed by about one hundred and sixty owners, trainers, and jockeys using the course, was presented to The Queensland Turf Club Committee. This petition asked, inter alia, for a reduction of the maximum field at Albion Park to fourteen, runners at the 7 furlong post, with corresponding reductions at other starting points. The reasons adduced in this petition were amplified in evidence before us by a number of witnesses. The petition was referred to the stev/ards, who reported unanimously in favour of the retention of the present maximum. Nothing in the evidence warrants a conclusion that this report is not to be relied upon. Long experience has shown that, with vigilant stewards and the other precautions we have enumerated, an undue proportion of accidents can be avoided. ,