Sat, Feb 11, 8:55am by Senior Writer
A heatwave in Sydney has forced Saturday’s Randwick races, which included the return to the racetrack of champion mare Winx, to be moved back to Monday.
Racing NSW made the call after a top of 39 degrees was forecast for Sydney, with concerns over how the heat will impact on both the horse and those who work with them.
With the meeting being crucial to the build-up to the autumn, simply abandoning it would not be an option, so Racing NSW shifted the 10-race meeting to Monday, where the the weather is expected to be a much milder 25 degrees.
“Racing NSW and the ATC believed that animal welfare and the welfare of the participants should be the only consideration when making this decision,” Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said in a statement on Friday.
The order of the meeting has been altered with Winx now to run at 5:40pm, in Race 8 of a ten-race meeting. The Apollo Stakes was originally scheduled as Race 6, because Winx’s presence as such a short price favourite would adversely affect the pools in key pari-mutuel markets such as the quaddie.
Racing NSW and the Australia Turf Club are hoping that noe winx will run much alter in the day, and the fact that there is free entry to the Randwick meeting, that they will attract an afterwork crowd.
“We want to ensure as many people as possible get the chance to see Winx live on track or on TV after work by pushing the times back,’’ ATC chief executive Darren Pearce said.
“I want to thank all of the Sydney fans as well as trainers and participants for understanding the need to move for the safety and well-being of all horses and participants.
“The weather forecast with the high temperatures and humidity created a no win situation for the meeting to proceed as originally programmed.’’
Meetings at Kembla Grange and Grafton have also been canned on Saturday.
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