Brad Rawiller has given the OK to twilight racing after a test in the setting sun at Flemington.
The Victoria Racing Club is a step closer to conducting twilight meetings after Brad Rawiller gave his tick of approval following a gallop in bright sunshine at Flemington.
Two trials following a recent Flemington meeting became non-events because of cloud cover, but Rawiller returned the following Monday to gallop a horse in the setting sun.
“There was no drama and I was happy to tick it off,” Rawiller said.
“The biggest thing with Flemington, because it’s so open, you’re in sunlight the whole time.
“Where it can be a problem is when you go from a shaded area and then look straight into the bright sun.
“At Flemington because you’ve got time for your eyes to adjust, I don’t think there’ll be any drama.”
Rawiller said it was important the jockeys have confidence and the last thing they want is for a meeting to be deemed as unsafe.
“When you’re riding the last 600 metres full bore to get the best result and you can’t see, it’d be quite dangerous,” Rawiller said.
“But I was very confident with the way it was, being in the sun the whole time and having your eyes adjusted.”
Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matthew Hyland said he contacted jockeys after Rawiller gave the thumbs-up with the group happy to give the go-ahead.
“We’ve supported it but should there be any safety concerns that do arise on a race day then we would revisit our position,” Hyland said.
VRC executive general manager racing Leigh Jordon said having the VJA on board was just one of a number of measures needed to hold twilight meetings.
The VRC Oaks program, two days after the Melbourne Cup, is among the meetings touted for the later time slot.
“We still need to analyse Oaks day and the club is still reviewing that internally,” Jordon said.
“It wasn’t just the setting sun, there’s a number of other things to work through but that was something we needed to tick off.
“Oaks day isn’t really broken. It gets a massive crowd and it’s the sixth best turnover for the whole year.
“What it does give us is the opportunity to run twilight meetings during the summer months.”