Leading trainer John McArdle has added his voice to the chorus who are opposed to next week's five racing-free days.
Speaking on SEN Track’s Bensley, the Group 1 winning trainer has aired his frustration about the race-free week.
"It's absolutely outstanding, what more could I look forward to then in a week in lockdown with a two and a five-year-old, I’m booking me travel plans to the loungeroom,” McArdle laughed.
“We’re going into the spring carnival and we can’t trial out horses, I’ve got La Rocque and Tycoon Humma both going to have to run at Mooney Valley next Saturday because I’ve got nowhere to trial them.
“With the trials not being on, we have the case where those two nice fillies of mine will go to the races underdone just to get a trial into them.
“Us trainers, stable staff and track riders still have to get the horses fed and prepared for upcoming spring races.”
With over 13 million Australians forced into lockdown, McArdle believes the racing industry is missing out on an opportunity in gaining exposure for the industry.
“Especially with the lockdown being on when we have the eyes of the punters and are maximising turnover,” McArdle added.
“We’ve got horses getting ready for the spring and we have no trials for them, there's a lot smarter people than me runnning it, I’m just a poor simple horse trainer.”
Many trainers have questioned - in mainstream and on social media - who actually benefits from the break, with the full effect of horses being unable to gain starts in maiden and lower benchmark races unlikely to be fully felt until the weeks after. 👇
I wrote to the @austrainers 19/7 to explain the week off next week cannot proceed in the best interest of Horse Racing during a Covid Lockdown. A Board meeting was held last night to discuss the huge issues if this proceeds. If proper governance is delivered we race next week ✅ pic.twitter.com/xk0TclPFeN— Manny Gelagotis 🐎⚽️🇬🇷🇦🇺 (@hvasstan) July 21, 2021
We will work our horses as always, but have nowhere to race them. No jumpouts/trials very inconvenient.— Redgum Racing (@RedgumRacing) July 19, 2021
Currently 188 accepted at Cranbourne thurs with 15 mins to go and a rail out with reduced field sizes let’s have a race free week 🙄— Gavin Bedggood (@GavinBedggood) July 19, 2021