Murray Bridge abandoned due to extreme heat conditions

By: Mark Mazzaglia
January 13th, 2014

The heat wave sweeping across Western and Southern Australia has claimed another meeting with Wednesday’s Murray Bridge program being abandoned.

Trainer David Hayes will saddle up 3 runners at Wangaratta on Tuesday.

Trainer David Hayes will saddle up 3 runners at Wangaratta on Tuesday. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Ascot’s Scenic Blast Stakes meeting was originally transferred from Saturday to Sunday because of temperatures above 40 degrees but with no relief from the hot weather, the Western Australian Turf Club had no choice but to move the meeting again to today, Monday.

Perth is starting to recover from the heat with a forecast of 29 degrees for Monday with the extreme temperatures causing havoc as it moves towards the east.

Racing Information Services Australia (RISA) released the following statement this morning regarding the Murray Bridge meeting.

“The race meeting scheduled for Murray Bridge on Wednesday 15th January has been cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions forecast and following consultation with industry participants and the Bureau of Meteorology,” the statement read.

Melbourne is also expecting temperatures around the 40 degrees mark over the next four days with Caulfield’s Wednesday set to go ahead at this stage with race one to start at the an earlier starting time of midday to try to avoid the hottest part of the day.

The Wanagaratta Turf Club has also had to reschedule the starting times of it’s eight race program on Tuesday with the first race now to jump at 11.00am with an expected top temperature to reach 42 degrees.

With the early start, the last race at Wangaratta will now be run at 2.45pm with Racing Victoria’s Operating Manager Paul Bloodworth hoping the early start will enable the meeting to go ahead and avoid the forecast hottest period of the day.

“The safety and welfare of equine and human participants is of paramount concern to Racing Victoria in assessing whether a race meeting should proceed as originally scheduled in hot weather conditions,” Bloodworth said.

“We have therefore made the early decision to amend the times for Wangaratta’s meeting on Tuesday to avoid the forecast warmest part of the day and give the meeting the best possible chance of proceeding.

“We anticipate that by reducing race intervals and commencing from 11am that the bulk of the meeting will be staged whilst temperatures range between 30-39 degrees.

“Stewards, veterinarians and on-course medical staff will continuously monitor the weather conditions and the fitness of both horses and jockeys throughout the raceday to ensure their fitness to race; if the combination of temperature, humidity and air movement represent an unacceptable set of conditions, Stewards will reassess the continuation of the meeting.”

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