Caulfield meeting beats the heat
Jeff Turnbull
18:15 AEST Wed Jan 15 2014

The Caulfield races came close to being called off due to scorching temperatures but thanks to a breeze, the meeting went on.

Ice packs were the order of the day for horses and jockeys with riders also sucking on ice blocks between races.

All measures where used to keep participants cool with horses hosed down before and after races with sprinklers also used on the roofs of their holding stalls.

The meeting was brought forward two hours to 11am with time between races reduced from the usual 40 minutes to 30 minutes and horses were paraded just once around the mounting yard to the handful of punters who braved the heat and their time in the starting barriers was also cut.

Four vets were on hand before and after each race and according to chief vet Brian Stewart, who never let go of his heat stress meter, they came through not much worse for wear.

With the temperature nudging 42 degrees, if the meter's reading, which gauges temperature, humidity and air movement, had reached 33 for a sustained period, the meeting would have been called off.

It came close when it hit 32 but Stewart said a breeze that struck up offset the heat which then sent the reading falling again.

"First the sun came out, then the wind came up - one compensated the other," said Dr Stewart.

"The horses have all been fine today, none have been distressed, they've all pulled up pretty well."

Jockey Glen Boss said there was no use whinging about the conditions.

"It is what it is - it's no good complaining and bitching about it because it has to be done," he said.

Jockey Craig Williams said after have a two race break between races five and eight, when he jumped back on his mount Balayeur, he felt his boots were melting when he put them in the irons.

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