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Work ramps up for St Pat’s

St Pat's Races

With under eight weeks to go, organisers of the St Patrick’s Races have begun work to get the Broken Hill Racecourse ready to host the 59th annual race meeting on Saturday, March 16.

The who oversees the area has been bust with a range of work projects currently underway with much of the focus on repairs to the upper section of the Member’s Grandstand.

“The grandstand is 115 years old this year and there were issues with the flooring and sub structure. The work will continue on the upper section. We also have a project to repair the ceiling in the President’s Room,” Chairperson of the Trust, Cheryl Krutli, said.

Other projects that are being carried out include extending the concrete apron in front of the main betting ring and having more grass in front of the betting ring and along the lawn area. Workers have been on-site over the past few days spreading loam, scattering lawn seed, and watering, with campsites across the area now closed to allow the grass to grow.

“By keeping caravans off, this will allow the grass time to grow. Grass seeds love extreme heat so long as we keep it damp. The key factor is not letting it dry out”, Mrs Krutli said.

While Trust contractors were keeping busy over the weekend, volunteers from the St Patrick’s Race Club were also on-site holding their first Working Bee. St Patrick’s Race Club President Andrew Schmidt said one of the early jobs was to construct a new rolling pen for the horses and to test the chillers.

“It is amazing how quickly the race meeting come around post-Christmas,” he said.

“Our team, led by Marc Coulter and Richard Thomas, identify the jobs, draw up the spreadsheet, and we start on site eight weeks out. We have a great team; everyone knows what needs to be done. All we hope for is some kind weather for our volunteers at the working bees.”

The work being undertaken by the Trust to get the Racecourse primed for Broken Hill’s biggest sporting and social event is not going unnoticed by Club members, either.

“The program and projects of work has been fantastic. The Trust will have the Racecourse looking in prime condition for our race meeting”, said Mr Schmidt.

Tickets for St Pat’s are still on sale but selling quickly, with bookings resulting in over $100,000 in ticket sales setting a record for the showpiece event.

“We have sold out two of our main areas with our online provider 123 Tix reporting a surge in sales since Christmas. For this time of year, it is the most we have ever pre-sold”, Mr Schmidt says.

The 59th annual St Patrick’s Races at Broken Hill Racecourse will be held on Saturday, March 16. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://stpatricks.org.au.

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