Perth Racing’s decision to deny carnival drawcards including Barakey and Ihtsahymn access to Ascot has bewildered Michael Grant, President of the Western Australia Racing Trainers’ Association (WARTA).
The WARTA had requested and planned for two jump outs to be conducted at Ascot next Tuesday, October 6, just twelve days out from the opening of the 2014-15 Ascot season.
But the bid was unexpectedly knocked back by Cameron Sutherland, General Manager Tracks at Perth Racing, who cited concerns over the current state of the Ascot track.
Grant believes it’s another ‘kick in the guts’ for local trainers and says apart from the decision being short-sighted, it raised another important concern.
“I’ve been told the track won’t be ready but if it’s not ready now they are cutting it fine for the opening meeting of the season,” said Grant.
“The Ascot track is in far better shape than it was 12 months back and I can’t help but think it’s just another convenient excuse.
“There is no validity to their argument and it’s just another example of how local trainers are poorly treated and respected.
“Perth Racing bends over backwards and spend thousands of dollars each year to assist visiting eastern states trainers during our summer carnival.
“I have no problem with that attitude and philosophy but why can’t local trainers be afforded the same level of cooperation?
“It doesn’t happen in Melbourne and if you go to Caulfield and Moonee Valley they accommodate their stars with grass gallops.
“Officialdom at Perth Racing either don’t have the experience or understanding of how important it is to train our best horses on the best surface.”