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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Non-Flemington trained horses will now be able trial on the famous straight track before racing there

The Victoria Racing Club has listened to feedback and will allow horses entered for Flemington feature sprints to get some straight track experience.

Previously only horses trained at Flemington, were allowed to gallop down the straight before feature sprints which include the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic, the Coolmore Stud Stakes, The Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap.

Non-Flemington-trained horses, that have not raced or trialled down the straight, will now be given that opportunity if they are entered for those Group 1 sprints.

However, if those horses are not among final acceptances, a fee will apply.

The straight track will also be open to two-year-olds not trained at Flemington who are nominated for the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes, with the VRC to put on two heats to cater for these horses.

Leigh Jordon, the VRC Executive General Manager Racing, said the Club had listened to the feedback from trainers.

“We listened to feedback and want to ensure the safest possible racing conditions at Flemington, which is why we will now permit eligible non-Flemington trained horses to jump out and familiarise themselves with the unique Flemington straight track,” Jordon said.

The VRC has also decided to move away from early nominations for their spring and autumn features, except for the Melbourne Cup.

Entries close for the Melbourne Cup on August 2 and will follow a traditional acceptance path to the race at Flemington on November 1.

Previously, entries for the Victoria Derby and the Victoria Oaks closed in early October while the Newmarket Handicap, the Australian Cup and the Australian Guineas all closed in January.

“Removing early entry dates is designed to improve the nominations process for trainers,” Jordon said.

“It allows trainers to target feature races without fear of missing early entry deadlines and it will hopefully ensure that we get the most in-form horses entering those races at Flemington.”

 
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