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Trainers want changes on abandonments

Queensland trainers want changes to the decision process on whether race meetings should be abandoned because of rain.

Four races were lost when stewards called off Saturday’s Doomben meeting after a delegation of jockeys said the visibility was deteriorating at such a rate it would be dangerous to continue.

It was the fourth Doomben meeting to be abandoned midway because of rain in the past 12 months.

Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association, Cameron Partington, said he had received many phone calls since the abandonment.

“Safety will always be paramount for horses and jockeys. But should the stewards make the decision or the jockeys?” Partington said.

“My opinion is it should be consultation with all jockeys but the final decision should be made by the authority in charge.

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“Perhaps asking all jockeys individually, allowing them not to race if they choose and then be replaced by another jockey if available.”

Partington said while there was no easy solution it needed to be discussed this with racing authorities.

He said there should have been an option to wait to see if conditions improved on Saturday.

“The races were called off at 3.15pm but by 4.30pm the rain had cleared completely and the sun was out in parts,” he said.

Partington said he had suggested all four lost races be run on Monday.

“But then the argument comes back that Doomben couldn’t handle it as they have to race the following Saturday so once again everything comes back to the root of all the current problems – no Eagle Farm,” he said.

Racing Queensland has rescheduled some of the races lost for Ipswich and Doomben next week and increased prize money for others at the Gold Coast and Caloundra.

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