Mungrup off due to heat
Mt Barker Turf Club’s biggest meeting on the calendar, the $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint will not be run this Sunday and instead has been postponed to March 17 due to the sweltering temperatures forecast for Sunday.
A decision was made on Wednesday morning to cancel the Mt Barker meeting under Racing and Wagering WA’s heat policy.
The annual Grapes and Gallops festival attracts hundreds of spectators but with a forecast of 41C in Mt Barker on Sunday, RWWA have acted with the safety of industry participants and horses the priority.
Instead the meeting, minus the $100,000 sprint feature, will be moved to Albany where the temperate is forecast to be 33C.
MBTC confirmed their meeting on Sunday, March 17, originally down for the Mt Barker Cup, will now be turned into Grapes and Gallops day featuring the Mungrup Stud Sprint.
A decision on when the Mt Barker Cup is held will be discussed by the MBTC committee.
MBTC president Stephen Carter said it was a decision made for the benefit of all involved.
“It is disappointing but at the end the welfare of horses, jockeys and trainers comes first,” he said.
“It’s just too bloody hot, and that is no one’s fault.”
MBTC have been working to rectify an issue with their track, after dry patches forced their early January meeting to be moved to Albany.
On Monday RWWA stewards passed the track fit to race on this Sunday, after the areas of concern had recovered significantly.
RWWA’s James Ryan said with the sweltering temperatures predicted an early call was made.
“The forecast is to be 40C and above so the heat policy has kicked in,” Ryan said.
“Albany is forecast to be a lot cooler.
“We wanted to give (the meeting) every chance in Mt Barker and we’ve been monitoring the forecast.”
Albany will host a likely seven-race card on Sunday, their fourth meeting inside the space of a month.
The decision has already angered trainers and jockeys, with stables targeting this race a long way out.
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