Smoke may force Flemington shift
Racing Victoria will consider shifting this weekend's Flemington meeting from Saturday to Sunday as wary officials monitor Melbourne's smoky skies and air quality.
Wednesday's Caulfield and Yarra Valley meetings were both called off due to the smoke haze as the state grapples with the fallout from the country's bushfire crisis.
Racing wasn't the only sport affected, with tennis officials and AFL clubs among others to alter plans as they monitor air quality and try to ward off potential health risks to players.
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Racing Victoria's Racing Operations Manager Paul Bloodworth said the smoke haze was predicted to return on Saturday.
"At this stage we'll take a wait-and-see approach. Things can change and smoke levels may not get to the levels which have been predicted," Bloodworth said.
"We don't know whether the smoke haze will come in Friday night, Saturday morning or afternoon.
"We'll watch and monitor the situation and liaise with the Bureau Of Meteorology and the EPA. It's a few days before the meeting so there's a bit of time until then."
Racing Victoria has added an extra meeting - at Werribee next Tuesday - to its racing schedule to compensate for the three meetings lost this week due to poor air quality.
RV will not reschedule Wednesday's lost Caulfield meeting.
It has instead added an extra race - a Benchmark 70 over 2100m - to next Wednesday's Sandown meeting.
It has also changed the conditions of a race at The Valley on Friday, January 24, with a Benchmark 70 (1000m) changed to a Benchmark 78.