'Worked back' rail given green light
The new 'worked back rail' on the troubled B Course at Happy Valley will have its raceday baptism at next Wednesday's meeting at the city track.
Racing officials, headed by the director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, met trainers after trackwork yesterday to discuss the arrangements and other pertinent topics.
'I can say that it was a very constructive meeting and valuable views were exchanged. We looked at the tapes of the 1,000-metre trials last Saturday and, as a result of that and earlier discussions, we decided to go ahead with the new arrangement next Wednesday,' said Engelbrecht-Bresges.
The biggest question remains whether horses in behind on a track notorious for its bias to front-runners will be able to quicken in time to take advantage of the gaps.
The rail at the home bend will be in the C position and will taper back to the B position in the straight. This adds an extra 24.7 metres to the run home.
Last Saturday's two trials were held over the 1,000-metre course but races over longer distances will now be conducted.
The consensus of the meeting was that the arrangement, although it was inconclusive on Saturday, was 'worth a try'.
Racing officials will also study at least two proposals put forward in relation to the new entry system in operation since the start of the season.
All remain in favour of the five-day system but several trainers strongly believe it can be bettered, particularly in relation to the reserves for each race.
Meanwhile, former dual champion apprentice Simon H. K. Yim, is set to undergo a Jockey Club medical before signing on as a work rider.
Yim, who withdrew an application to have his riding licence renewed last week, is set to join trainer Geoff Lane next month.