WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club is in a race against time to have a $230,000 super screen installed at the course before the three-day May Racing Carnival.
The club wanted the screen to be placed three metres from the running rail and 50 metres from the finishing line but Racing Victoria stewards and the Victoria Jockeys Association balked at that idea after inspecting the proposed site.
They demanded the screen, which measures six metres high and 11 metres wide, be placed back 30 metres from the running rail due to safety fears for jockeys and horses.
WRC CEO Peter Downs said he was hopeful the screen, which has been jointly funded by the state government, would be in place before the carnival.
“It’s a tight deadline to have the screen ready for the carnival but I'm hopeful it will be in place,” Downs said.
“We've got to get the stewards back here to inspect the new site and see if they are happy before we start any major works like preparing concrete footings for the screen. The VJA are comfortable with the new proposed site so it's only left up to the stewards to check things off.”
VJA CEO Matt Hyland, who was at the Warrnambool races last Friday, said positioning the screen back 30 metres was a common sense decision.
“The jockeys were not comfortable with the three metre idea from the running rail,” Hyland said.
“The usual benchmark is for screens to be back 15 metres from the running rail but with the steeplechase track and other infrastructure it had to be 30 metres.”
The state government has provided $117,000 towards the super screen through the Victoria Racing Fund.
The WRC is matching the contribution dollar for dollar.
FORGOTTEN jockey Luke Williams got all the accolades for Royal Butterlfy’s win in a restricted race at Warrnambool last Friday, from trainer Tammy Good.
Williams, who was resuming after more than two years out of the saddle, guided Royal Butterfly to victory over Fiano and Primostrat in the 1700 metre race.
“Royal Butterfly's win was a great result,” Good said.
“I was really happy for Luke. He's done a massive job. I think he's lost about eight kilograms in the last month. He's turned his life around and it's due to himself and his wife Brooke. Luke allowed Royal Butterfly to balance up and hit the line hard. He never panicked at any stage.”
The talented horseman took only one other ride on the eight race program – Royal Butterfly’s stablemate Maka's Blu Girl, which ran second in a 1300 metre race.
“Maka's Blu Girl was probably a shade unlucky,” Good said.
“It would have been tremendous if we could have got the double but it was not to happen. We’ll just potter around in similar class races for both horses.”
Royal Butterfly took her stake earnings to over $40,000 with her win.
HAMILTON trained mare Jester Halo may be Melbourne bound, following her win in a $20,000 race at Warrnambool last Friday.
Jester Halo, who has won three of her four starts and is trained by Darren Kolpin, defeated Such Hope and Shintaro in the 1300 metre race.
“I think she deserves a crack at a midweek mare’s race in town,” Kolpin said.
“She's unlucky not to have won four from four. She blew the start at Naracoorte but ran on solidly to finish in fourth place. I think once she learns to relax she should be able to run a strong 1600 metres.”
Kolpin, who moved from Mount Gambier to take over as the track manager at Hamilton in September last year, mixes his time training six horses.
“Having six in work is an ideal number,” he said. “I'm really loving my time in Hamilton. It's worked out a great mix having a few horses in work and doing work on the track. The track at Hamilton is in great shape, it's a shame we don't have another meeting until April 21.”
From her four starts, Jester Halo has earned more than $27,000 in stake money for her connections.
HAMILTON Racing Club is seeking a new trainer for its main on-course stabling complex. The facility, which is available from July 2017, consists of 15 horse boxes, eight boxes outside of the main complex plus 18 day yards. The facilities are currently used by respected trainer Allan Clark who is scaling back his operation. Trainers have access to the sand track for six days and the course proper three mornings in the week. Hamilton is located within 150 kilometres to 18 courses across Victoria and South Australia.
FORMER Mount Gambier-based jockey Anthony Darmanin pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge following his ride on Mourinho in the Yarra Glen Cup on Sunday. Stewards found that near the 50 metre mark Darmanin permitted Mourinho to shift out when not clear of Schockemonie. Darmanin’s suspension commences at midnight March 22 and expires March 30.
THE Inglis March Thoroughbred Sale proved to be a success, with a healthy clearance rate of over 91 per cent for the 156 horses that were sold. Yu Long Investments was the leading buyer with 17 purchasers.
The sale grossed $1,254,350, with an average price of $8833.
WHO TO FOLLOW
CONCEALER: resumed with a nice run in a fillies race at Flemington. She will be suited in races over more ground than the 1100 metres she ran in on Saturday. RAIN FAST: honest mare who ran a great race over 1200 metres on Saturday. She ran on solidly over the concluding stages and looks ready to register another win in easier grade. STORMSABREWING: knocking on the door for another victory after running fifth in town. She's an honest mare who will be hard to beat in similar company next time. HELLOVA STREET: strong win over 1400 metres on Saturday. He's won three on the trot and there's nothing from stopping him from winning again next time. LLOYD KENNEWELL: quiet achiever in the training ranks. Kennewell showed his skills with a double at Morphettville on Saturday. Punters should respect his runners if they come to Melbourne for various races.