TOOWOOMBA Turf Club will embark on its annual track renovation during September in preparation for feature race day, the Pat O’Shea Plate (formerly the Hopeful Plate).

The race, the first two-year-old race for the Australiasian racing season, will be held on Sunday, October 1 and is held in high regard by the TTC and the racing industry.

The track renovation program will be the first major task undertaken by newly-appointed TTC Track Manager, Dave Morrison, according to TTC Chief Executive Officer Blair Odgers.

“Racing Queensland’s scheduling for the Toowoomba Turf Club in September each year allows us to have our course proper in the very best shape it can be for the Pat O’Shea Plate and the rest of the new racing season.

“The TTC takes pride that our track is one of the best in the business and having those couple of weeks’ break in September really sets us up for another stellar season of racing here in Toowoomba,” Mr Odgers said.

TTC Chairman Kent Woodford said a specific program of jump-outs and barrier trials would also take place across July and August for trainers wishing to contest the Pat O’Shea Plate.

Mr Woodford said the Pat O’Shea Plate date was changed (from Saturday night, September 31 to Sunday afternoon, October 1) by Racing Queensland after advice that the Eagle Farm track would be unavailable.

“It’s the same day as the NRL grand final, so we see it as an opportunity not only showcase a feature racing event, but also screen the grand final on the Clifford Park big screen,” Mr Woodford said.

Trainers hoping to contest the race will be offered a flexible preparation schedule for the lead-up.

“We try to give trainers every opportunity in order to give them the very best opportunity for the first two-year-old race in Australasia. With this in mind, we will offer a 400m jump-out opportunity on Tuesday, August 29 on the course proper, followed by barrier trials and jump outs across the first three weeks of September,” Mr Odgers said.