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Gale force winds halt racing at Pakenham

Gale force winds across Victoria have forced the race meeting at Pakenham to be abandoned after one race.

A deputation of jockeys, along with Racing Victoria stewards, inspected the position of the barriers for Tuesday’s second race where three or four of the inside gates were slow to open because of the wind.

Senior jockey Dwayne Dunn said jockeys were happy to ride into a strong headwind, but the cross wind coming off the back straight was cause for concern.

“We went around before the first race and because the barriers at the 1600 metres were side-on it wasn’t catching them,” Dunn told broadcaster Racing.com.

“But the boys who rode in the first were concerned that down the back straight it wasn’t the best and then when they turned in off the back straight into the home straight they were having some difficulties as they were getting pushed around.

“Subsequent to that we went around to the 1200-metre start, which was head-on, and on a couple of occasions they opened the barriers and three or four of them didn’t open.

“That was probably detrimental to our safety, horses’ safety and for the punters as well.”

Steward in charge of Tuesday’s meeting Darren Triandafillou said the jockeys scheduled to ride in the second race held a ballot.

Under RV policy with the majority of jockeys preferring to not race on, the meeting was abandoned.

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