Low numbers put Warrnambool's season-opening steeplechase in doubt

THE first steeplechase of the new jumps racing season is in doubt because of a lack of entries.

Racing Victoria yesterday extended entries for Monday’s open steeplechase at Warrnambool until 10am today. 

The move came after only four entries were received.

RV racing operations manager Paul Bloodworth said a decision on the $20,000 3450-metre steeplechase will be made at 10am tomorrow when final acceptances were taken. “There is talk another horse might enter for the race before the 10am deadline but we’ll just have to wait and see how many more entries we receive for the race,” Bloodworth said.

“We’ve also extended entries for the open hurdle. We got 10 entries in that race. 

“We’re also hopeful that another one or two horses may be entered for that race.”

The Warrnambool Racing Club received 17 entries for next Monday’s $20,000 maiden hurdle.

Bloodworth said jumps trials which were set down for Pakenham this morning had been cancelled after more than 21mm of rain fell at the course yesterday.

“It’s a real shame we had to call the Pakenham trials off,” he said.

“There were 40 horses listed to run at the trials — 21 one of those horses were to get their jumping tickets. 

“We’re now looking at running jumping trials on Friday March 8 but we’re unsure where they will be run at, as we originally were going to Cranbourne but there are drainage problems there so we’ll finalise a new venue within the next 48 hours,” he said.

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