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After being criticised publicly by a number trainers and after holding in-house meetings with the Trainers’ Association chiefs, Racing Victoria has now come out and confirmed that they would reconsider its options moving into next season in order to try and make the implementation of next year’s ‘race-free week’ more acceptable to participants.

Racing Victoria’s first end of season, race-free week … which will run from Monday July 26 until Friday July 30 … has been the brunt of a growing band of criticism, but it will continue as scheduled next week.

Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter, talking to from the ruling body’s side of the fence, gave these views on the subject.

“It’s not just about trainers and staff … (it is) also about jockeys, form analysts, broadcasters, everyone involved in the industry, there is no break from race day. It’s five days off for everyone who’s caught up in the daily grind and daily cycle of racing.”

“We understand horses have to be fed and exercised, but there’s a lot of people involved in the industry other than trainers and (stable) staff.”

Carpenter also referenced some of the other points put forward in the trainers’ argument.

He mentioned the concerns about the backlog of horses that would be waiting to race after the race-free week and the probable balloting out of a good portion of those because of demand in its aftermath as well as the limitations placed on trainers and their staffs in terms of movement and opportunities (leisure or otherwise) at this time because of current lockdown orders and strict Covid 19 protocols … which everybody acknowledges is out of racing’s control … showing some degree of understanding at to why some displeasure had been expressed at this time.

“(Trainer’s) feedback is useful,“ continued Carpenter. “We’ve got to the precipice of this trial, it will go ahead (next week) and we‘ll be informed by the learnings from it as to how we go or navigate it in the future.”

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