A new era in Victorian racing will begin in the first week of February when fields for Saturday metropolitan meetings are released on Wednesday – a day earlier than normal.
Under a six month trial being conducted by Racing Victoria, acceptances for the state's premier weekly meeting have been brought forward from 9am Thursday to 10am Wednesday.
The trial will commence with acceptances for the Caulfield meeting on Saturday, 5 February and continue through until the end of the 2010-11 racing season in July.
It has been introduced in time for the 2011 Melbourne Festival of Racing which runs from 12 February to 25 March and features 42 Group and Listed races.
“We see Wednesday acceptances as an opportunity to stimulate further growth in Fixed Odds wagering, encourage greater pre-promotion of Saturday's metropolitan races and assist media outlets with the preparation of form guides for public consumption,” RV Chief Executive, Rob Hines, said.
“The trial has been implemented with the support of the Australian Trainers Association and we will liaise with its members throughout the trial. Their feedback, coupled with media exposure and statistical analysis on Fixed Odds wagering, will be some of the key factors in determining the success of the trial.”
To assist trainers with the earlier acceptance time, the scratching fee for horses withdrawn prior to 4pm the day before all Victorian race meetings has been reduced. Further discounts will be afforded to those trainers who scratch using the RISA Stable Assist service.