Heat measures in place for Rosehill meeting
Measures to ensure horses and jockeys are protected from the forecast heatwave conditions will be in place at Rosehill on Saturday.
The mercury is tipped to hit 41 degrees in Sydney’s west where the eight-race card will be run.
In February, a Saturday meeting at Rosehill was put back more than an hour after 42 degree heat was forecast a few days earlier.
But Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy on Thursday said there were no plans to adjust the starting time of Saturday’s meeting at this stage.
"We don’t presume on Saturday that the meeting is at any risk," Murrihy said.
"But you can certainly do things that minimise the risk to participants and they will be in place."
Extra veterinarians will be on hand to check horses before and after races while jockeys will be closely monitored by the club doctor who will make sure they remain hydrated.
"If it’s 35 degrees or above we start with a set of protocols and then another level of protocols kicks in at 38 degrees-plus," Murrihy said.
Officials will monitor the wet bulb thermometer readings which measure humidity as stewards do at every meeting in NSW throughout summer.
"People sometimes take the simple view that if it gets to a certain heat you should call off racing," Murrihy said.
"But there are matters like humidity and windspeed that are very important factors.
"A very still day as opposed to a day where there is a good breeze is very relevant and very different."
One of the measures adopted if the temperature does climb to 38 degrees or above will be no parades before races.
"There is a vet who is specifically there for any horse a jockey feels has been affected and they will be looked at immediately after the race," Murrihy said.
"There are mist sprays down in the stalls which are a recent innovation that has worked pretty well also.
"There is also a specific air-conditioned stall for any horse that is affected by the heat.
"The public will notice that as soon as every horse comes back in they’ll be hosed immediately."
Buckets of ice water will also be available for horses after racing.
By Russell Jackson