Queensland trainers want an urgent review of how tracks are rated in the state after a spate of recent problems.
The Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association has requested a meeting with Racing Queensland to discuss its proposal.
Like other states, tracks in Queensland are rated on a scale of one to 10 and while they would retain the numerical system, trainers want changes to the categories.
The problems were highlighted at Ipswich last week wen the track was rated a good (4) in the morning but was a heavy (8) by the last race with little rain falling.
QATA secretary Cameron Partington said the downgrade had left trainers mystified and worried.
“The track received a downgrade at 9am from the Good 4 to a Soft 6. It was then downgraded after race one from a soft 6 to a soft 7 and there had been no more rain and it was now a mostly sunny day,” he said.
“The track was then downgraded to a Heavy 8 after race 6 – once again no further rain, and a sunny afternoon.”
He said the accuracy of track ratings, the consistency of advising them and the overall communication of the information needed immediate review.
“This issue however clearly is controllable,” Partington said.
“Rather then languishing behind other states in this area, we could take the opportunity to deliver national best practices in the area of track ratings, and set the bar for the others to achieve.”
The suggestions for new ratings are:
Firm 1: Dry hard track
Firm 2: Firm track
Good 3: Track with good grass coverage and cushion
Good 4: Track with some give in it
Soft 5: Track with a reasonable amount of give in it
Soft 6: Moist but not badly affected track
Soft 7: More rain-affected track that will chop out
Heavy 8: Rain affected track that horses will get into
Heavy 9: Wet track getting into a squelchy area
Heavy 10: Heaviest category track, very wet, towards saturation