WINNER: Profiler crosses the line first to take out the $100,000 NRRA Country Championships qualifier at Grafton on Sunday March 6.
WINNER: Profiler crosses the line first to take out the $100,000 NRRA Country Championships qualifier at Grafton on Sunday March 6. Jarrard Potter

Races to start later due to expect heat

RACING: Concerns have been raised as to the welfare of horses running during Sunday's Blues, Brews and Barbecues Yamba Cup Day at the Clarence River Jockey Club with the mercury predicted to soar.

Temperatures are expected to reach a height of 44 degrees celsius in Grafton for Sunday's race day.

CRJC chief executive Michael Beattie said it was a concern the club shared with racegoers and that they would monitor the weather in the lead up to the day.

Racing NSW have pushed the start time of races back to 3.25 to allow the temperature to cool off as much as possible but have not ruled out postponing the meeting if it does not drop significantly.

"We have certainly got some concerns about the weather and we will be monitoring what is happening," Beattie said.

"There are certainly measures in place that racing stewards will monitor, including the wet bulb reading out at the track. The fact that Sunday's humidity is at a very low level is one thing on our side."

With the rescheduling of races as it stands the two year old Showcase event has been deleted from the program.

The combination of the dry atmosphere and scorching temperatures also creates havoc for race track curator Drew Cookson and his team. Beattie said the irrigation system in place will be able to handle the extreme conditions.

"We have spent a significant amount of time, effort and money to ensure the track has been very well irrigated and is in top knick for racing," he said.



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