11 Jun 2010

Rare beetle described as no threat to Melbourne Cup

1:42 pm on 11 June 2010

The Victorian Racing Club says there is no threat to this year's Melbourne Cup carnival despite track damage from a rare turf beetle.

Cockchafer beetles have eaten through the root system of the track's turf, and it has deteriorated badly during recent meetings.

The ABC reports jockeys have expressed concerns over the condition of the track, saying it feels slippery and the horses are not gripping well.

VRC chief executive Dale Monteith says there is no threat to the Cup carnival whatsoever.

"Once we get into spring, the growth in the grass is phenomenal and it will be back to its former state," he said.

The beetle infestation was first detected on 25 April. Remedial work has been done, but track manager Mick Goodie says it is difficult to grow a root system at this time of year.