Racing Victoria (RV) and the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) have announced that tomorrow’s (Friday, 20 December) night meeting at The Valley has been abandoned due to the forecast extreme heat.
The decision, made in consultation with the RV veterinary department, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Australian Trainers Association (ATA) and Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA), is in the best interests of horse and participant welfare.
The BOM has forecast that temperatures will reach 43 degrees in Melbourne tomorrow and remain in the high 30’s until a predicted cool change around 10pm. The race meeting was scheduled to commence at 7pm and conclude at 10.30pm.
RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “The weather conditions forecast tomorrow are extreme and following consultation with our vets and the BOM it was determined that abandoning the meeting was the most appropriate decision for the welfare of our horses and participants.
“The hottest part of the day is predicted to be late afternoon when many horses would be required to travel and the temperature is predicted to be around 40 degrees when the meeting is scheduled to start at 7pm.
“With a significant amount of race meetings scheduled over the Christmas-New Year period, we have decided not to reschedule the meeting. To accommodate those affected horses, we’re extending the nomination deadline for all Boxing Day race meetings, including Caulfield and Geelong, until 10am tomorrow.”
In addition to the extension of nominations for the six Boxing Day meetings, affected horses can also be entered as extended entries for the upcoming meetings at Wangaratta (Monday, 23 December) and Werribee (Tuesday, 24 December) until 5pm today.
In making the announcement regarding The Valley, RV advised that tomorrow’s race meeting at Yarra Valley would proceed as scheduled at the earlier start time of 10.30am based on the predicted temperatures in the local region and veterinary advice.
The BOM is currently predicting that the temperature will be 27 degrees at the start of the meeting and rise to 37 degrees by the conclusion of the meeting at 2.40pm.
RV’s hot weather policy will be enacted for the Yarra Valley meeting with additional veterinary staff on track to monitor the condition of the horses throughout the race meeting.