Trial of early acceptances in Melbourne

Racing Victoria will trial taking race acceptances for Saturday metropolitan meetings a day earlier than normal.

The trial will start on February 1 and require trainers to accept at 9am Wednesday instead of 9am Thursday.

As a trade-off for the earlier acceptance time, the scratching fee for horses withdrawn up to 4pm the day before all Victorian race meetings will be halved from $250 to $125.

The Australian Trainers Association, its members, wagering operators and the media were all consulted before RVL announced the trial.

Acceptances for 12 Saturday Group One races are currently held on Wednesday, with acceptances for the balance of the meeting taken on Thursday.

“The landscape has changed significantly in recent years with continued growth in fixed odds wagering on Victorian racing and the majority of fast work completed for Saturday meetings on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Racing Victoria Limited chief executive Rob Hines said.

“We believe there are further growth opportunities in fixed odds wagering through the earlier release of our Saturday metropolitan fields.

“We will liaise with trainers throughout the trial and will consider their feedback, along with media exposure and statistical analysis on fixed odds wagering when determining the outcomes of the trial.”