** Kindly supplied by the Western Australian Racing Trainers Association
A major discussion point at recent meetings of WA trainers has been the condition of race tracks which many believe are too hard and are causing an unusually high number of horses to go sore.
Trainers say a “good three” is an ideal track and pointed to an example of 30 successive “good twos” being recorded at Belmont from pentrometer readings taken at 6 am when racing was not scheduled to begin until seven hours later. They believe there is a direct link between track conditions at city and provincial tracks and the number of horses injured and unavailable for racing. As a result some races were attracting small fields.
While appreciating that no tracks in Australia take as much racing as Belmont and Ascot, they believe more alternative use of both tracks should be made to give them a chance to recover. Likewise more attention needs to be given to training tracks and fears are already being expressed about provincial tracks standing up to a full summer season.
During November track officials succeeded in having the track rated as a good three for most race days.
The City of Belmont has called on horse owners to refrain from using the limestone walking trails in Garvey Park as a horse bridal path. The walking trails are designed for lighter traffic and horse usage has resulted in significant damage.
To assist horse riders, additional information signage will be installed to notify of the appropriate areas to be used within the park. In addition, trail maintenance work will be carried out in coming weeks to reinstate damaged sections of the walking trails.
Racing trainers in WA want more advance warning when changes occur in drug testing procedures.
Recently several WA trainers were involved in inquiries over the use of aminocaphroic acid, recommended by vets for small bleeding attacks and throat infections and thought by many to be classed as a therapeutic drug.
A notice advising of testing for aminocaphroic acid in the September calendar was the first warning given in WA and testing began immediately, whereas racing in Victoria had several media releases and trainers were advised testing would not begin until October 1.
In an approach to RWWA, WA trainers have asked that steps be taken to bring this State into line with Victoria. “It is a difficult and stressful time for some of our members who we believe have been unwittingly and innocently caught up in this situation,” trainers said.
The WA Racing Trainers’ Association has asked Perth Racing to consider forming a small group of industry representatives to recommend race names. Trainers claim there are many occasions when race names are innocuous and believe more races could be named after prominent racing identities, past and present.
MEETING: The final meeting of the WA Racing Trainers’ Association for 2009 will be held at Perth Racing officers on Friday, December 11, commencing at 11 am. The meeting is open to any trainer to attend.
HI GAINS AWARDS
As Perth Racing entered the summer season, racing journalist Ernie Manning found some well-known training establishments among the winners of weekly Hi Gains awards. They included:
Country Cups Double: Alan Mathews is never far from the action when it comes to cup races in this State and his stable provided another two winners in October. The oddly named Tearinupthecountry provided the first of the double by winning the York Cup at Northam on October 10 and two weeks later Mathews added the $100,000 Northam Cup to the list with Jinx King. Mathews had to overcome leg problems with Jinx King who has now won 10 races and provided the Muchea trainer with his third Northam Cup success in seven years, following wins with Free At Last and Wodalla.
Good Return: The four-year old Kasabian has provided trainer Darren McAuliffe and a group of owners with a great return on their initial $30,000 investment at the Perth Yearling Sales, winning seven races from just 12 starts. Kasabian’s biggest win to date came in the $125,000 Asian Beau Stakes at Ascot on October 31, taking the gelding’s earnings to $317,000. McAuliffe, formerly from Albany, is a third-generation trainer who is now based at Ascot.
Oldtimer Shines: The skills of trainer Trevor Andrews was on display when Corporate Sam won the $75,000 1800m Ascot Gold Cup on November 7. The nine-year-old was having his fourth run after a spell and recorded his first win at the journey. Previously regarded mainly as a sprinter, Corporate Sam was having his 70th race start and recorded his 10th win.
Surprise Win: For most punters Revolution’s win in the $200,000 Colonel Reeves Stakes came as a surprise with the horse starting at over 25/1. However, some astute judges noted the four-year-old had never been beaten over the 1100m at Ascot. The win boosted his stake earnings to over $400,000 and was also a reminder that trainer Paul Jordan has always had some handy horses in his stable, despite training on a smaller scale since moving to Southern River. His past successes include WA Derby wins with The Bukhra in 1988 and Hot Jewels in 1997 as well as other big race winners in El Cordero and Devilish Dancer.