For the second time this season Mt Barker Turf Club have lost a scheduled meeting due to their ongoing track issues. Racing and Wagering WA announced last Thursday that the Mt Barker surface had again failed a track inspection. The meeting was moved to Albany as a result, with the Percy Spencer Racecourse set to host a seven race card on Thursday. MBTC lost their opening meeting of the 2023-24 season after RWWA stewards found the track was not in a state that an entire meeting could be run on, citing insufficient grass coverage in the home straight as a major concern. The Frost Park track was inspected on November 30 in the lead-up to the scheduled meeting on December 7 but had not improved enough to satisfy stewards. “The track surface had improved since the previous inspection on October 26 but there were still sections without full grass coverage,” RWWA chief integrity officer Denis Borovica said. “So the decision was made to again transfer the meeting to Albany. “Our top priority is the safety of horses and riders. “Other considerations were the likelihood that the track might not sustain a full race program and racing may damage the areas now recovering, putting future race meetings at risk. “Relocating the event was the best option to ensure racing participants have the security of a complete race meeting.” As a result of taking on Mt Barker’s first two meetings, the Albany Racing Club will host the first six fixtures of the Great Southern season. Mt Barker are now in a race against time to be ready for their next allotted meeting on January 4, which will be the only chance the venue has to run a race day before their marquee Grapes and Gallops event on January 28. Six of the 20 races in the Great Southern calendar are scheduled for Mt Barker each season but there have been issues at the venue for several years now. A number of leading racing stakeholders in the region have voiced their concerns over the future of racing in Mt Barker given the ongoing track problems.