Qld night racing causes trackwork problems

The increase in night racing in Queensland has created an increasing problem with a lack of trackwork riders the next day.

The Sunshine Coast Coast hosts regular Friday night meetings in the summer and the Gold Coast is also set to have night racing from next year.

Under current rules apprentices can’t ride trackwork the next morning after competing the night before.

Many trainers rely on apprentices to ride work and have been unable to find riders on Saturdays.

The Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association has approached stewards to be more flexible with the rule.

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ATAQ secretary Cameron Partington said the bottom line was the rule had merit, but needed to cater for a variety of situations.

“Our suggestion would be a time frame of say eight hours from the last ride, which could see an apprentice who rode at 8pm, still able to turn up to trackwork at 4am,” Partington said.

“As much as the care and concern for the apprentice is important, it is significant that the same care and concern is not applied to other jockeys, strappers and trainers.”

“Taking into account the industry move towards more night racing it’s timely we address this issue now.”

Racing Queensland is expected to discuss the issue with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission in a bid to solve the problem.