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The race fans will have to wait a couple more days to see the darling of Australian racing Winx return for the autumn with Saturday’s 2017 Apollo Stakes Day meeting postponed.
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club (ATC) confirmed on Friday afternoon that due to the predicted extreme heat weather conditions, racing would not go ahead with the much-awaited Sydney meeting at Royal Randwick.
“We have been in communication with the Bureau of Meteorology, who were extremely helpful with providing the most up to date and accurate predictions as to the likely conditions tomorrow,” Racing NSW Chief Executive Mr Peter V’landys said in a statement on the Racing NSW website.
“Racing NSW and the ATC believed that animal welfare and the welfare of the participants should be the only consideration when making this decision.”
The meeting was expected to draw record crowds despite the heat with the first-up run of dual Cox Plate winning mare Winx in the $250,000 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).
The Apollo Stakes along with all nine other scheduled Randwick races including the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) for three-year-old fillies are now set to run on Monday.
News of the postponement came just hours after Waller spoke about his confidence in the Hot Weather Policy in place by Racing NSW.
“They have good racing policies in the heat, so the horses aren’t exposed to the extreme of the sun for too long,” the premiership winning trainer said.
“They have a short parade – they’re basically only out on the track for about 10 minutes, and then back in the stalls.
“They can then have a shower and ice baths.
“There’s plenty of thought that goes into the day, it’s not perfect but very safe.”
ATC Chief Executive Mr Darren Pearce confirmed that horse safety was their number one priority and that details on the reschedule meeting on Monday were pending.
“The ATC want to ensure that horses’ preparation for the Autumn Carnival are not affected and, accordingly, the meeting will be programmed for Monday, 13 February 2017,” he said.
Winx chases her 14th consecutive win and sits at $1.14 in Apollo Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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