Illawarra Turf Club chief executive Peter De Vries remains confident of Kembla Grange upgrades being fully completed by June 2024, declaring it will be one of the best tracks in the state.
The region's big wet has only heightened frustrations among trainers and owners, as several meetings have been either abandoned or relocated this season, after years of ongoing delays to work commencing.
But with a new season will come a new dawn, with renovations beginning on the inside surface in September, to be completed by June, De Vries said.
The main track will then be upgraded in the following 12 months.
"The grass will get put down in September, edging into October," De Vries told the Mercury. "It's been embarrassing to me personally about the number of meetings we've had to move from Kembla Grange.
"But the fact is we've had 2.2 metres of rain fall on us and the water tables are high.
"We're still very keen for it to go ahead and I know [Racing NSW chief executive] Peter V'Landys is very keen to have the work finished as soon as possible."
Trainers have been forced to use the Polytrack surface for trackwork, amid the ongoing wet weather.
Meetings will be held on the inside track while the main surface is redeveloped.
De Vries said the secondary track will be raised to avoid the flooding issues which continue to force Kembla Grange cards to be called off.
When asked if the main track will be as 'bulletproof' as the racecourse development at Newcastle, De Vries responded "moreso, I expect. I certainly hope so".
De Vries has also had discussions with the ITC board on the naming of the inside track, once it starts holding Kembla Grange meetings, similar to the Randwick-Kensington and Newcastle Beaumont B-grass.
Kerry Parker took out the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth and Robert and Luke Price ruled the $1 million The Gong, but Gwenda Markwell remains the queen of Kembla Grange, taking out another trainer's premiership.
The Markwell team, led by assistant Nigil Monahan, have six runners accepted for Saturday's Provincial meeting, which wraps up the season. Markwell leads the overall trainers points score with 72, ahead of Chris Waller and Peter and Paul Snowdown, with 11 winners so far.
Winona Costin will seal the Kembla Grange jockeys premiership, after edging ahead of Christian Reith, who is out for several months with a spinal injury.
Parker's Queen Elizabeth winner Think It Over suffered a career-threatening tendon injury, but the stable can celebrate Don Luigi taking out Kembla Grange's Horse of the Year title, with Markwell's Cmon Reg second.
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