The loss of racing in Victoria on Saturday because of extreme heat should not pose too many problems for horses continuing into the summer carnival.
With the temperature predicted to reach 41 degrees in Melbourne and higher in country areas of Victoria on Saturday, race meetings at Flemington, Colac and Wangaratta have been called off.
Trainer Mick Price has a couple of options for two-year-old Hellbound who was scheduled to race at Flemington.
The More Than Ready two-year-old was set to make his debut on Saturday but that will be delayed to Boxing Day at either Caulfield or Geelong.
“Missing a run on Saturday is not the end of the world,” Price said.
“He was a bit backward at pay-up time for the Magic Millions so we’re keeping him for the Blue Diamond.
“There’s a race for him at Geelong but with this race going on next week, I want the $80,000 race at Caulfield.”
Thoroughbred Racing SA has also abandoned its meeting at Morphettville on Saturday because of the expected heat.
RV’s executive general manager of racing Greg Carpenter said it was the first time since February 2009 there would be no Saturday racing in Victoria.
“We don’t do this very often but we have to be very much aware of not only the horses but also industry participants,” Carpenter said.
“Caulfield was due to race that day (in 2009). That day was Black Saturday and we are not suggesting conditions are similar, but they are extreme.”
The abandonment of the Flemington meeting has caused some alterations to programming in coming weeks.
A 2100m and a 2400m race have been added to Wednesday’s Sandown meeting to cater for horses heading to the Bagot Handicap on New Year’s day.
The Caulfield Boxing Day meeting will now be a 10-race program including Saturday’s two-year-old race from Flemington.
There have been two other minor changes to the Caulfield meeting to accommodate horses from Flemington.
Paul Bloodworth, RV’s racing operations manager, said with so much racing in coming weeks the decision was made to keep program changes to a minimum.
“We’ve got eight meetings in Victoria on Boxing Day so we think that horses that were in at Colac and Wangaratta will be able to find an opportunity on Boxing Day or the days after,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au