Royal Randwick main grandstand is shut down

Sydney‘s showpiece Royal Randwick spring carnival is in jeopardy after the main grandstand was shut down by engineers due to safety concerns on Wednesday morning.

Australian Turf Club chief executive Darren Pearce confirmed after testing earlier this week one of the beams in the roof of the Queen Elizabeth II Stand requires “immediate remedial work”.

Mr Pearce has ordered an exclusion zone around the stadium as engineers test steel cables holding up six beams.

Rather than compromise punters safety, the ATC announced Saturday’s feature Chelmsford Stakes meeting scheduled for Royal Randwick has been transferred to Warwick Farm.

Saturday’s race meeting was the start of Sydney’s spring carnival with other major racedays scheduled for Royal Randwick on September 17 (George Main Stakes Day) and then the feature Epsom Handicap meeting on October 1.

If Spring Carnival races are moved, they would be shifted to Rosehill and Warwick Farm.

“Our engineers were carrying out more tests on the grandstand’s roof with a final report due within seven days,” he said.

“Until I receive that report, I can not make comment on what may happen to those Randwick meetings later in the spring.”

ATC plans to close Royal Randwick down after the November 5 race meeting as part of a $150 million redevelopment of the QEII Stand.

Mr Pearce has reported the issue with Racing Minister George Souris.

A spokesman for Racing Minister George Souris said ‘public safety was paramount’. They are being regularly updated by the Turf Club.

The economic impact on Royal Randwick would be substantial if the Spring Carnival dates are shifted.

by Buford Balony

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