Those punters doing their form for the Grafton race meeting on Thursday should not be concerned when they see a new distance of 1181m being advertised for Race 5, the Calcuttas at the GDSC Class 1 Handicap.
"It is not a misprint with the race originally advertised at the new Grafton distance of 1175m, however, with the movable rail out 3 metres the distance will increase by 6 metres," explained Michael Beattie, CEO of Clarence River Jockey Club.
"Whilst it is being called a new distance, it is a long way from being a new starting position; the 1175m start is effectively where the CRJC conducted its famous Ramornie Handicap from for many years until Grafton Racecourse had an upgrade in 2006 to the home turn which shortened the track by approximately 30 metres.
"To then accommodate a 1200m start, a new chute was constructed and this is now the starting point for all the 1200m races at Grafton.
"But the board and management were of the view that the old 1200m starting point remained one of the best starting positions not only on Grafton Racecourse but in Country NSW so a few months ago the decision was made to redevelop the start and the meeting on Thursday will see its first use in almost 15 years.
"The 1175m start will become a regular feature at Grafton meetings with a number feature events for the Grafton July Carnival being conducted over the new distance this year. The most notable being the John Carlton Cup on Westlawn Day, The Country Magic Class 6 and Big Maiden on Cup day."