Melbourne, Australia – Flemington’s Saturday horse racing card could be moved to Sunday amid Australian bushfire crisis.
Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, famous for hosting the world renowned Melbourne Cup, has said that the bushfire crisis has had a major impact on horse racing this week and may continue to do so depending on the weather.
There are concerns in Melbourne over the quality of air due to the bushfires, which has already resulted in dangerous conditions for a number of sporting events of late.
Greg Carpenter, who is the Executive General Manager Racing at Racing Victoria since 2011 commented:
“Normally you look at a Saturday and see a forecast for fine weather as a positive… With the fine weather and the wind direction, it does mean we will be susceptible or vulnerable for smoke haze coming back. The watch at the minute is for Flemington on Saturday. We will keep working with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Bureau of Meteorology, and the different clubs, the Australian Trainers’ Association and the VJA and make a decision as we get closer to Saturday.”
Carpenter expanded on the importance of decisions being made by those closest involved in each particular racing venue and that people can often be surprised by what they witness:
“What we have seen with these air quality issues is that generally the air quality is best in the morning… I was speaking to the steward in charge of Werribee, and the stewards in charge of the trials at Pakenham and Tatura. My expectation was that all of those meetings would be called off. But to some degree, when you are sitting here in the office in Melbourne and making decisions, you’ve got to rely on people on the ground.”
“When the steward in charge of the Pakenham trials got there, they were really pleasantly surprised with the air quality and the conditions. Everyone who was there felt it was okay to continue.”
There are currently 9 races on the cards at Flemington this Saturday and the decision as to whether they go ahead will be made nearer the time.
Favourite horses on the card according to latest betting odds include; Avenue Of Pleasure, Red Heeler, Condo’s Express, Blossom On Snow and All Too Royal.