The general consensus among Victorian trainers is they want tracks prepared to race with a good four rating for the majority of a meeting.
The Australian Trainers’ Association received an 85 per cent response to a survey of its members with the majority wanting softer conditions on race day.
Leading trainer Darren Weir criticised the hardness of the track after Magic Millions Guineas favourite Native Soldier pulled up lame from his Christmas Stakes win at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
“It’s very simple, very simple,” Weir said.
“They should be a dead four the whole day. If it gets to a good three late in the day that’s OK but it was getting to a good two the other day.”
In summer tracks often firm up during the day.
Racing Victoria’s current policy is for tracks to be conducive to safe and fair racing and to be of uniform and reliable footing.
Clubs should also prepare tracks with a good three rating for the meeting and that the track not be firmer than a good three during that meeting.
ATA president Robbie Griffiths said track managers currently do a great job but the majority of trainers consulted wanted a surface in the good four range for the majority of the program.
“It is a tricky one because it is an outdoor sport,” Griffiths told RSN927.
“But that’s what the trainers have come back with and that’s what we’re putting forward to RV.
“They’ve gone out to other stakeholders like wagering, owners and jockeys and it all goes to the board meeting in February.
“Wagering people prefer a (good) three because that tends to be what punters punt well on, trainers want it a bit softer because we want longevity in our horses.”
While the majority have called for a change in policy, there are a number who prefer the current policy of which Griffiths is one.
“I quite like the (good) three personally as I haven’t had too many issues, touch wood,” he said.
“I think they race pretty good and mine have been pulling up pretty well.
“You always have the odd day where tracks get too firm and you always have the opportunity to scratch.
“That’s something that should be looked at. Don’t be frightened to upgrade to allow scratchings, just the same as the downgrade.”