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Canberra Horses Eligible For Highway Races

Canberra-trained horses have been readmitted to Highway races conducted in Sydney.
Racing NSW announced that from September 1 Canberra-trained horses will be eligible to compete in the Highway events restricted to horses prepared in the country regions of NSW.
However NSW-trained country performers with a benchmark rating of 50 and above will receive first preference over ACT-trained horses when a ballot is required.
“NSW country trained horses that have a benchmark higher than 50 get first preference for these races in the rare circumstances that there are more acceptances than the field limit,” said Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys.
Canberra-trained horses were banished from the Highway races last year when Racing NSW deemed that Canberrea stables had an advantage over NSW country trainers due to their perceived better training facilities at Thoroughbred Park.
Racing NSW resolved that Canberra-trained horses were to be classified as provincial class rather than country from December 3, making them ineligible for Highway races from that time.
Racing NSW recently met with a delegation of trainers from Canberra who presented concerns about the ongoing viability of racing in the ACT.
“The trainers presented a very strong case that action was required to avoid the demise of Canberra’s racing industry,” V’Landys said.
“Racing NSW wants to see that racing in Canberra is viable and strong, as many NSW participants compete in Canberra for prizemoney that is paid by the Canberra Racing Club.
“They would be competing for less prizemoney overall if the prizemoney paid by the Canberra Racing Club was no longer available as this money would be lost to the NSW industry.
“Reverting Canberra trained horses to country status is a sensible resolution.”
The Canberra Racing Club has responded by agreeing that its Federal class races, prizemoney and bonuses will be open to NSW country trained horses as well as those trained at Canberra.
However Canberra trained horses will remain ineligible for The Kosciuszko to be held at Randwick on October
“The conditions of the Kosciuszko had previously been set and betting has already commenced on the race under those conditions.” said V’landys.
The status of Canberra trained horses for the 2019 Country/Provincial Championships will be subject to further assessment by Racing NSW in coming weeks.


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