Sectional Times

The Association believes sectional times interfere with what a driver’s job, that is, drive the race to achieve the best possible position.

The majority of horses cannot run 64 seconds for the first half of the last mile after expelling energy out of the mobile or from the stand start to gain the best possible position in a the run, then still get home to try and win the race.

In races less than 1710m races having a maximum of 32-second quarters takes no cognisance of the energy expelled in the start of a race to gain a favourable position or consideration of the lead-time.

Implementing these on 3YO’s takes no account of early 3YO races versus end of season 3YO races when a horse has matured, the varying ability of young horses and the physical maturity of a young horse who should not be over taxed.

We fully support R0 races at TAB meetings, R type races as heats into finals but putting sectional times on these horses that is the same as a FFA horse does not recognize that these horses are picked from the bottom up and as such have the poorer form, which proves in many cases they do not have the ability to run as well as those horses in the same class who are in the higher points range. These horses are going to find it harder than others of that class to run the same sectional time and be competitive.

We commend the withdrawal for T0 trotters to run a sectional time; however do not agree with dropping of the distance requirement for trotters. Many trotters races are programmed over a distance further than the 2400m and the lower class trotters can not run a 65 second first half over that distance and be competitive at the end of the race.

Trotters race unhoppled and must be balanced in the run and by pushing them to run a time over a long distance, could lead to more trotters breaking under pressure near the finish of the race.

The Association does not agree with the proposed escalation of fees for infringements over sectional times. It is very difficult to judge within 0.1 of a second the speed of a horse and if you get this wrong more than once a month it will cost drivers who are only trying to win the race for the owner, trainer and the punting public who have supported that particular horse.

What must be considered is each horse is different in its size, ability and stride. Fines bear no resemblance to losing drivers fees and professional drivers may drive between 40 and 100 times in a month and for 0.1 of a second error in judgement on four separate occasions incurs a week suspension.