Tuesday, April 22, 2014Contact: Peter McGauran
Australian Racing Board Media Release 22 April

The ARB Board April quarterly meeting decided issues of importance to the industry including the following three issues: 
Australia needs to introduce a rule defining the length of time before a horse can race after an intra-articular administration of corticosteroids. The Board, having regard to extensive veterinary and scientific advice, has decided that the Stand Down Period will be 10 days (8 Clear Days) from administration to racing. The Board consulted with the various stakeholder groups and took into account their views. The Board made its decision in the best interests of the welfare of the horse and safety of riders whilst cognizant of Australian racing conditions. 
A new rule to introduce a 10 day (8 Clear Days) Stand Down Period will be introduced on 1 August, 2014. 
The Board decided to modernize the language for track ratings to be more easily understood by punters especially young people. The ARB issued a revised scale in January and called for public and industry input. Retention of the numerical scale of 1-10 was strongly endorsed by punters whilst most of the submissions centred on the proposed ratings. 
The new Track Ratings Scale is: 

Rating Numerical Rating Description of Numerical Rating
Firm 1 Dry hard track
Firm 2 Firm track with reasonable grass coverage
Good 3 Track with good grass coverage and cushion
Good 4 Track with some give in it
Soft 5 Track with a reasonable amount of give in it
Soft 6 Moist but not a badly affected track
Soft 7 More rain-affected track that will chop out
Heavy 8 Rain affected track that horses will get into
Heavy 9 Wet track getting into a squelchy area
Heavy 10 Heaviest category track, very wet, towards saturation
The new ratings will come into effect on 1 December, 2014 as extensive changes are required to the IT systems and data feeds of RISA and their commercial customers. The delay in introduction is due to the need to backdate track conditions so as to accurately record a horse’s performance. The historical data is essential information to punters. 
Following the withdrawal of El Roca at Rosehill Gardens on 1 March, 2014 as it had been intravenously administered a hypertonic saline and alkalinizing solution within One Clear Day before race day, the ARB Board resolved to amend AR.178AA to ensure uniformity and certainty of application across all jurisdictions: 
(i) AR.178AA(5)(c)(i) will be amended so that in future it will be the ARB and not stewards who must be satisfied which alkalinizing agents contained in commercial feeds and balanced electrolyte supplements have a negligible effect on plasma TCO2. 
(ii) The ARB advised in an Industry Notice of 26 August, 2013 which alkalinizing agents have a negligible effect when contained in commercial feeds and balanced electrolyte supplements. Lang’s IV is expressly prohibited in that Industry Notice. 
(iii) All jurisdictions agree to be bound by the Industry Notice of the 26 August, 2013. However it is open to any jurisdiction to seek to amend the Industry Notice. 
(iv) Any request to amend the Industry Notice will be considered by the ARB’s Veterinary and Analysts Committee (VAC). In considering such a request, VAC will apply the same criteria as before consistent with the ARB’s policy of prohibiting alkalinizing agents One Clear Day before race day other than those which have a negligible effect on TCO2 in commercial feeds and 
balanced electrolyte supplements. 
End Media Release 
For further information: 
Peter McGauran, Chief Executive 
0408 483 491
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