Springsure’s Stan Priddle cradles one of the solid crystal trophies which would have been presented to race day winners.
Springsure’s Stan Priddle cradles one of the solid crystal trophies which would have been presented to race day winners.

No luck for the Irish this year

MONTHS after the recent floodwaters eased, water has once again forced the cancellation of sports fixtures across the Central Highlands.

Cricket has had its fair share of washouts, Blackwater speedway hasn’t had a meet since June last year due to the weather and late last week it claimed another - Springsure’s St Patrick’s Day Races.

The deluge on the day was so severe that not only were the horses excluded from the track but the punters as well.

“We had 60mm of rain on the Thursday night alone – it was just too wet to race,” St Patrick’s Race Club patron Stan Priddle said.

“We thought we might be able to just have a betting meeting but then we went out to the course and there was probably four to six inches just sitting on the grass.

“Even now there is still water lying around.

“We had no option but to postpone… well we would like to think of it as postponed but it’s unlikely we are going to get another race date by Racing Queensland.”

Springsure will have to take a number and line up because the club is among a long list of race tracks washed out by wet weather in recent weeks with little respite from the state’s governing racing body.

The significance the 2011 race day would have had for the club only rubs salt into the wounds for event co-ordinators such as Priddle, who spent the better part of 23 years as club president.

“It was going to be our 60th year anniversary,” he said. “We had diamond jubilee cups and everything done up but I guess we’re just going have to keep them all for next year.”

Despite the setbacks, Priddle was as optimistic as ever about the situation and felt fortunate the rain came when it did.

“We were lucky in one way that we called it off on Friday,” he said.

“If it rained later we would have had all the marquees and everything up ready to go.”

As all the tickets sold were pre-booked, no race-goers were left out of pocket from the race cancellation.

But the impact of the loss on the St Patrick’s Race Club and the Springsure community was immeasurable.

“There would have been hundreds here – it would have been really big,” Stan said. “Everyone put so much into it, it’s such a shame.”

In the interim it is all systems go for Springsure’s next race meet on September 17 and the 2012 St Patrick’s race day on March 10.

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