The runners in next month’s InterDominion final will be locked away in a retention barn in the days before the $750,000 group 1 feature in a first for Australian racing.
The purpose-built facility at Menangle has 16 boxes, with attached feed and tack rooms, vet bays and more than 50 cameras to detail every movement in the centre.
The retention of runners has been in the conditions and rules of the InterDominion since its move to a permanent home at Menangle last year.
”It is something we have been working on for quite a while and we understand that it might upset a few people but the aim is to have a level playing field,” Harness Racing NSW integrity manager Reid Sanders said.
”Horses will be under 24-hour surveillance and everyone entering and leaving the centre will have to sign in and out. The horses will have access to everything they need, including the two tracks at Menangle, the training track and main track, a walker and a private hole while in the retention barn. However, it will all be under supervision. The facility has 16 boxes and no two horses are boxed next to each other, with feed and tack rooms separating each box.”
Sanders would not be drawn on how long the runners would be required to be in the retention barn but it is believed this will be between three and five days before the final.
The conversion of existing stables at Menangle was a joint project between HRNSW and the NSW Harness Racing Club.
It was modelled on similar facilities in North America and cost more than $200,000.
HRNSW has traditionally placed guards on runners in the 24 hours before major races such as the InterDominion and Miracle Mile, but the new centre takes it to another level.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.