Sport

Horses ready to race for Dalby's opening meet of the year

John Hearne is confident Outcrop will run well on the revamped track this Saturday.
John Hearne is confident Outcrop will run well on the revamped track this Saturday. Richard Coombs

LOCAL horse trainers are looking forward to testing out the improved track at Dalby's first race meet of the year this weekend.

The January 19 meet will see the end of 10 weeks of hard work by John Hearne and Dave Reynolds, who have got the track looking as good as new.

With help from the Dalby Picnic Races committee, the track has had months of work lavished on it, including it being top-dressed, irrigated and a new control box installed.

Hearne said the track had needed the makeover.

"Before it was not good … we were a bit hampered by the dry weather," he said.

Hearne has two horses running this weekend and said he would like to give them a decent gallop before Saturday's meet.

The track makeover has caused some disturbance for trainers in the lead-up to the first race meet of the year, but Dalby trainer Matt Kropp is still confident his horses will run well.

Kropp is looking to nominate five horses for this weekend, and hoped the home environment would work in the horses' favour.

"They have been running well, without much luck," he said.

"They'll be more relaxed as they'll know their surrounds."

Kropp said if the horses galloped well with other males on the track before Saturday he would then decide where he would nominate them for the weekend.

With the Dalby track out of action, Kropp has been taking his horses to Toowoomba for track work over the past couple of months, but said it has taken both a physical and monetary toll on himself and the horses.

"But the track is looking beautiful now," he said.

Kropp, who trains about 25 horses, said he had to be careful with the horses during the warmer months.

"We don't want to stress them in the heat," he said.

"We swim them more in the summer and work them harder in winter."

Topics:  dalby, horse racing


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