Calling it a day on training in the dark   Leave a comment

Calling it a day on training in the dark

Neil Bainbridge, who is in charge of the Cranbourne training centre, where up to 800 horses work each morning, said he would support the end of training in the dark.

Early morning trackwork at Cranbourne training centre.

Early morning trackwork at Cranbourne training centre. Source: News Limited

THE chief executive of Australia’s busiest training track supports a push, abandoned by Racing Victoria, for daylight-only training hours.

Darley’s Australian head of operations, Henry Plumptre, implored administrators two years ago to revolutionise training hours in a bid to secure better, more reliable staff and to create a safer environment.

Racing Victoria was close to implementing a daylight training trial at Cranbourne but was thwarted by the sale of the Pakenham track, which had a number of Pakenham trainers temporarily relocate to Cranbourne.

“If I could start in daylight I would,’’ Bainbridge said. “The difficulty is that a large number of our 147 trainers are part-timers with one or two in work and day jobs, but there are issues, like this, with the training of horses that require forward thinking.’’

Bainbridge’s comments came a week after German track rider Friederike Ruhle died from injuries suffered in a track mishap at Caulfield.

Trainer Mick Kent says training in the dark was the “stupidest thing we do in racing”.

Trainer Mick Kent says training in the dark was the “stupidest thing we do in racing”. Source: News Limited

An administrator at a major track revealed the centre faced “huge’’ legal costs and payouts if multiple litigations from track riders who’d injured themselves in trackwork falls were successful.

He said there had been 64 reported track rider injuries at his track in the past 12 months.

Ruhle’s death highlighted the dangers of riding trackwork and while there was no suggestion Ruhle lacked skills, her death also sparked concerns over the skills of hundreds of track staff.

A leading Cranbourne trainer said there was virtually no vetting of track staff.

“They can rock up to the track in a helmet and jodhpurs, tap their boot with their whip and bang, they’re a track rider,’’ he said.

Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent said training in the dark was the “stupidest thing we do in racing’’.

Bainbridge said it was ­almost impossible for track management to check the credentials of track riders. “Many work for a number of trainers, hopping from horse to horse,’’ he said. “Greater trainer education is required as well as rider education.’’

Bainbridge said it was mandatory for track riders to wear high-visibility vests at Cranbourne but it was not at tracks like Flemington and Caulfield.

Racing Victoria polled trainers two years ago about changing the training clock but abandoned any plans after most trainers said they supported current training hours, roughly between 4am and 9am.

Originally published as Calling it a day on training in the dark

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Posted July 9, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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