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The fate of Sydney’s showcase spring carnival meeting on October 1 will be announced on Friday amid concerns over the safety of one of the main grandstands at Randwick.

Corrosion in structural steel cabling in the roof of the QEII Stand was discovered during testing in preparation for the redevelopment of the grandstand and spectator facilities due to begin in November.

The upgrading of the QEII stand is part of a $150 million redevelopment of Randwick.

The George Main Stakes meeting on September 17 is expected to be transferred to Rosehill but the Australian Turf Club has been hopeful it can maintain Epsom Handicap day at Randwick.

One of four Group One races on October 1, the Epsom Handicap looks set to suffer if it is relocated to Rosehill which cannot accommodate 1600-metre races.

That means the race would have to be either 1500 or 1800 metres.

Stephen Farley, trainer of reigning Epsom favourite Sincero, says he will not run the four-year-old if the race is held over 1500 metres as that does not fit in with the horse’s Cox Plate plans.

The Randwick “mile” is considered the toughest 1600 metres in the country and it is generally accepted it takes a genuine 2000-metre horse to perform well.

Farley said he would take Sincero straight to Melbourne if the 1500m option was exercised at Rosehill.

Spectator capacity is also greater at Randwick where many functions have already been booked.

NSW racing minister George Souris will join Australian Turf Club chairman John Cornish and chief executive Darren Pearce to make Friday’s announcement along with Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys.

AAP TURF

 
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