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04 Dec

Turnover fall spells end for 30-minute race gap experiment

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Brenton Avdulla rides Antonio Giuseppe, right, to win The Strassmeir Handicap. Photo: bradleyphotos上海m.auThe six-month trial of 30-minute gaps between races at midweek meetings will come to an end at Canterbury on Wednesday and NSW is set to return to the traditional 35- and 40-minute gaps from next week.
Shanghai night field

The reduced gaps were a Racing Victoria idea to shorten the raceday but have not proven popular with participants and punters, with turnover dropping in the congested schedule.

“We have been reviewing our data and turnover is down overall,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.

“Revenue is paramount to the industry for it to continue to flourish and the indications that it has being affected is very concerning.

“We have to discuss our decision with the ATC, which runs most the midweek meetings but the feeling is that 40 minutes between races is better on most fronts.”

ATC general manger of racing James Heddo told Fairfax Media the club feels that a return to traditional gaps would take the pressure off on racedays.

“We would think the extra space between races will take the pressure off everyone during racedays. It will increase the lead-in times to races and give punters a better opportunity to invest,” Heddo said.

Waller vindicates scratching decisions

Chris Waller is not noted as a late scratcher of horses on raceday but he “got it right twice” last Wednesday when he took out Antonio Giuseppe and Revolver because of the very heavy Warwick Farm track and waited to Saturday.

Antonio Giuseppe looks a staying prospect in the making after chalking up back-to-back wins at Rosehill but he will probably not get to black type racing this time in.

“I was very concerned about him having a gut buster on a heavy track because I would like him to have a couple of more runs this time and get through his grades,” Waller said. “It worked out well and he beat a nice horse [in Extensible].”

About an hour later, Revolver made winning start to his career on the Beaumont track at Newcastle.

“I’m delighted that they both vindicated my decision to scratch them. Revolver has been one of the best triallers around for us recently,” Waller said. “You worry when you take a horse out midweek to run on the Saturday but we got it right twice.”

Star Thoroughbreds owner makes hall of fame

Star Thoroughbreds owner Denise Martin was inducted into the Tasmanian racing hall of fame in the associate category on Friday night.

Martin has always had horses race in the Star’s colours in her home state while her company has made it mark on the biggest races in the country. The crowning moment, of course being Sebring’s win in the Golden Slipper.

“It was fantastic to get that moment of recognition and a great night,” Martin said.

Sydney three-year-olds storm Melbourne

Peter and Paul Snowden have struck two early blows for the Sydney three-year-olds with Russian Revolution and Defcon making winning trips to Melbourne in August.

The early indications are that the three-year-old crop is up to same level as the Pierro and All Too Hard group from a couple of years ago that proved more than a match for the older horses at weight-for-age.

The depth of the Golden Rose might see a few more Sydney three-year-olds head south early, powerful colts Astern and Star Turn dominated Saturday’s Run To The Rose and the Golden Rose is not going to get any easier for anything left in their wake.

The best  Melbourne trained three-year-old, Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice, will wait for the Moir Stakes against the older horses, so the Sydney horses should have the edge on their southern rivals.

Peter Snowden said Defcon, which won Saturday’s McNeil Stakes, will return south for the Danehill Stakes next month.

“We are trying to find the right races for each of the horses and there are certainly some nice options for them in Melbourne,” Snowden said. “We want to get the right horse in the right race.”

Snowden was delighted to watch Detective – the Breeders Plate and VRC Sires Produce Stakes runner-up – hold off Godolphin’s Drachenfels to win a Wyong maiden on Sunday. It might return into a key form reference for the spring.

“It is good to finally see him and ran home in 33-and-a-half [seconds] for his last 600 metres shows the quality of the race,” Snowden said. “We thought it would be an easy race but he beat a couple of good ones.”

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