There is to be a change to nomination procedures in South Australia. The change is to the current policy of charging a scratching fee if a horse is withdrawn after the original nomination time. This fee is to be removed to encourage more trainers to nominate on time.
Currently other than for veterinary reasons or if approved by the stewards, when a horse is withdrawn after the original nomination closing time a $33 scratching fee is applied. The new policy will mean that scratching penalties will only apply if a horse is withdrawn after the advertised acceptance time. At this point a withdrawn horse will then be liable for a $33 scratching fee and a 10 day stand down period, as per the current policy; the fine after acceptance can be removed and the period altered to 6 days, with production of a veterinary certificate or approved by the stewards.
The previous policy has been in place for many years and reflected the numbers of horses available at the time. The removal of the fee reflects the current scenario for trainers wishing to nominate for a meeting. It is hoped that the change will encourage more trainers to nominate on time.
The obvious issue that the change may cause is an increase in the numbers of horses scratched between nominations closing and acceptance time. However it is hoped that if more trainers do get into the habit of nominating on time, that this will outweigh the negatives.
Trainers are also reminded that horses that nominate on time will continue to have preference over those nominated late or are engaged.
It has been agreed to introduce the change on a trial basis to be monitored by the Racing Office and reviewed by the Racing Committee. It will be introduced from the first meeting in April.
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