AN EQUINE swimming pool at the Warrnambool racecourse is still weeks away from being finished after changes in design forced due to safety issues.
The main change relates to a steel-enforced barrier, instead of crushed rock on natural earth being installed along the walking edge of the pool.
Club chief executive Peter Downs said safety was paramount.
“We’re running behind on our schedule,” Downs said.
“We had originally thought the pool would be finished in January, but due to changing the design I don't think the pool will be finished until the middle of April. It's all about safety for horses and people who are swimming the horses. We want to do it once and know it's right, instead of rushing the project.”
The pool, which is 70 metres long and three metres deep, will allow 50 local trainers to swim 250 horses at the facility at various times of the day, instead of being restricted to local beaches for limited periods.
PINT-SIZED galloper Unrealistic earnt a reprieve from being sold when he won a restricted race at Edenhope on Saturday.
Unrealistic was to be sold at a mixed thoroughbred sale in Melbourne this Friday before he defeated Witness Statement and Brigadier in the $20,000 race over 1850 metres, according to trainer Simon Ryan.
“Unrealistic was going to the sales on Friday, but after his win his connections have had a change of heart,” Ryan said.
“We’ll keep him going. He's not really big matter of fact he's tiny and is lightly framed. We changed his pattern of racing on Saturday.
“He's been unlucky in three of the five runs for me. We decided to drop him out and let him run home – that did the trick.”
The former jumps jockey said the original plan was to jump the four-year-old.
“We've did a bit of schooling with Unrealistic,” the Warrnambool-based trainer said.
“He jumps well. We might give him another distance flat race before putting him in a jumps race.”
Meanwhile, Ryan is excited about the prospects of imported jumper Dormello Mo, who should kick off his Australian jumping campaign at Warrnambool on March 30. Dormello Mo has competed in some of the feature jumps races on the world stage and never run in a flat race.
“Dormello Mo has had 28 starts and they have all been in jumps races,” Ryan said.
“Top English trainer Paul Nicholls said it's useless running on the flat. We’ll run him in a steeplechase at Warrnambool at the end of the month before going to Oakbank for the Great Eastern and then come back for the Warrnambool Grand Annual.
“I'll be getting Dormello Mo his barrier certificate on Wednesday. I've put a lot of work into him to prepare him for the three jumps races I've got earmarked. It’ll be interesting how he goes because he's never run on the flat.
“I've given him two steeple trials and he appears to go alright. Jamie Mott has been riding him and is happy how he's performing over the jumps.”
The seven-year-old has won seven races from 28 jumps starts.
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Aaron Purcell put some recent bad luck behind him when his lightly raced galloper Falcool won a $120,000 three-year-old race at Flemington on Saturday.
“We've always had a good opinion of Falcool,” Purcell said. “He was shin-sore a couple of times in his last preparation. I was confident he would run well on his track work. He does have a bit of ability. We’ll run him in another three-year-old race in two weeks.”
Purcell’s tough stayer Swacadelic missed Monday’s Adelaide Cup after having problems.
His other stayer, St Jean, is heading to the breeding barn as a stallion after injuring his tendon.
TOUGH jumping mare Regina Coeli will have a flat race within the next fortnight as she prepares to run in another Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase.
Regina Coeli, who won the Grand Annual in 2015 and was unplaced last year, has had one flat run over 1600 metres at Ballarat in January.
Trainer Ciaron Maher said Regina Coeli was making good headway for the 5500-metre race.
“We’ll give her a run on the flat in the next two weeks,” Maher said.
“She's going well. Her main goal is the Grand Annual.
“We may give her one jumps start before the Grand Annual.”
Regina Coeli has won four jumps runs.
FORMER Warrnambool jockey Alan Creighton was outed by stewards on a careless riding charge at Stony Creek on Sunday.
Creighton pleaded guilty to the charge following his ride on Jester Angel. Stewards found Creighton allowed Jester Angle to shift out from the fence to a one-off position when not sufficiently clear of Danger Close. Irish-born Creighton started his suspension at midnight on March 14 and can resume March 23. Stewards deemed the incident to be in the mid-range.
BLACK-TYPE performed horses including Wales, Rugged Cross, Firehouse Rock and Golden Spin headline a strong catalogue for Friday’s Inglis Thoroughbred Sale at Oaklands Junction.
More than 120 horses, including 44 broodmares, have been catalogued for the mixed sale which will also feature racehorses, stallion prospects and yearlings.
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