Racecourses Filled with Mad Dogs and Englishmen Force Fixture Changes
January is a slow month for thoroughbred racing in Australia and most of the top horses and stables are doing everything possible to stay cool in the preparations for the autumn campaigns.
About the only news coming out of the sport of thoroughbred racing at the moment is that extremely hot weather is wreaking havoc with meetings all around the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
The tracks need to keep the door open and the lights on, while at the same time being cognizant of the safety of the animals that make the sport possible.
Racing scheduled for Saturday at Sydney’s Warwick Farm has been moved to Randwick because forecasts of extreme heat from the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting 38-degree temperatures of Saturday.
Moving to Randwick, closer to the coast, where sea breezes can be expected to keep the heat in check somewhat has been the tactic adopted by Racing NSW. The racing program will still have nine races, but the sizes of the fields will be adjusted to accommodate the need for the rail to be moved back in the true position.
At Murwillumbah, it was not the heat, but the humidity, humidity in the form of rain, which caused the Tuesday meeting to be abandoned after the first race, when accumulations of surface water on the track forced stewards to call time on the meeting over safety concerns.
Racing at Caulfield has been moved back a day, from January 6 to January 7, as extreme heat forecast for Friday and Saturday caused the officials to wait for a cool front that should bring the temperatures down considerably into the 20-degree range.
The BOM is calling for temperatures of 38 for Saturday at Mornington, but the expectation is that a favourable sea breeze and low humidity will make it safe to race.
Thoroughbred Racing SA has moved Saturday’s Gawler meeting back to Sunday. Another meeting at Naracoorte has been shifted forward from Sunday to Monday.