Jenny - Clean

RACING NSW boss Peter V'landys has ruled out any chance of trialling or permanently adopting the contentious 30-minute gap between races, claiming Racing Victoria's week-long test of the policy will compromise rider safety and shrink wagering when it comes into effect from Saturday.

ADAM PENGILLY reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that V'landys said he appreciated Racing Victoria's ability to test whether the condensed half-hour intervals between races would enhance the race-day experience, but described the push to fly solo as "disappointing" as punters brace for a nightmare when race times clash across the country.


He has spoken to Racing Victoria chief executive officer Bernard Saundry about how to manage Saturday's situation, which will see Randwick's group 2 Breeders Classic feature scheduled for the exact same time as a ratings race at Caulfield. 

"I appreciate they want to trial new things, but we're talking about a national wagering market ... not just Victoria," V'landys said. "They've just gone in unilaterally and changed all these things.

"We're not the only ones being affected - it's every other state in Australia. It's not in the spirit of co-operation and it's very disappointing. We're going to work with what we've got and it's as simple as that."

There will be four other occasions when races from Randwick and Caulfield - the premier two meetings of the week - will be run with just five-minute gaps.

Caulfield races will also directly clash with fixtures from Doomben and Morphettville, while the last four races will be run at the same time as events from Hong Kong's Sha Tin program.

Asked what effect the shortened breaks would have on turnover, V'landys said: "Zero. If anything it's going to reduce it. People bet from state to state and they just don't bet on one state and because we're limiting the time they've got to bet it's going to be counterproductive. They're not going to have time to look at a race in another state."

Racing NSW stewards have advised management they believe the 35- and 40-minute intervals between races was safer for jockeys, who are only asked to ride every 30 minutes in NSW at night meetings under cooler conditions.

"The advice I've got from stewards is you are compromising safety," V'landys said. "When a jockey rides in a race you have to remember the exertion it takes - especially in a staying race - and they've got to back up 20 minutes later. It's giving them no time to recuperate."

Racing Victoria has stressed it will canvas a variety of opinions after the seven-day trial and analyse betting figures as it seeks to have more autonomy over the race-day clock, traditionally managed by Sky Racing for its wall-to-wall service.

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