Victorian Racing Information

1. STABLE RETURNS

1.1 – A Stable Return, with all sections completed, must be lodged with Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) immediately when a horse comes under the control of a trainer with the intention of preparing the horse to participate in racing.

1.2 – Any trainer relinquishing the training of a horse shall notify HRV in writing, or via HarnessWeb, immediately upon the horse leaving his/her care.


2. NOMINATIONS

2.1 – A horse must be nominated on an official nomination form, in neat and legible print, or via HarnessWeb. Nominations by telephone are NOT permitted.

2.2 – All nominations close with Harness Racing Victoria only.

2.3 – Trainers who nominate by facsimile should ensure that their machine has the correct time, date and ID facsimile number. In the event of a nomination not being received by HRV, this information may enable HRV to ascertain whether the horse’s nomination should be accepted.

2.4 – Trainers who nominate by HarnessWeb are reminded that they should always check any nominations lodged by selecting the ‘MY NOMS’ icon from the navigation menu. This will display all current nominations and engagements and provide a chance to rectify any problems or errors.

2.5 – As changes are sometimes made to race programs, trainers should always refer to the latest edition of the Harness Racer or online calendar.

2.6 – When nominations for a race are extended, it will be until one hour before the advertised Acceptance Time. Preference in field selection will be given to original nominations.

2.7 – When nominations have been extended for a particular race, any horse that has been scratched prior to acceptance time, may only be renominated on the same handicap mark in a standing start race or under the same assessment mark in a mobile start race and shall be treated as a late nomination. Effectively, a concession claiming driver may not be substituted for a non-concession claiming driver, and accordingly, a non-concession claiming driver may not be substituted for a concession
claiming driver.

2.8 – If by winning and incurring such penalties that vary a horse's class for a race in which it is nominated, the trainer may, before Acceptance Time:

(a) request the horse be transferred to the next fastest class for which it is eligible (such horse will be treated as an original nomination), or

(b) confirm the original nomination by notifying a change of driver to an eligible Concession Driver provided that concessions are applicable to the race. If an eligible Concession Driver is already the listed driver and providing that the horse remains within the eligibility conditions of the race, the horse will remain eligible. Such requests shall be made to the HRV Handicapping Panel in writing or by telephone before nominations close if the horse wins prior to Nomination Closing Time, or before Acceptance Time if the horse wins after nominations have closed.

(c) Any horse which wins after Acceptance Time and has a future racing engagement with a Concession Driver who is not utilising a Concession Driver claim cannot then utilise a Concession Driver claim for the horse so that it remains eligible for such race.

(d) Any mare which wins after Acceptance Time and has a future racing engagement where it is or is not utilising a Mares Allowance can then utilise such allowance so that it remains eligible for such race.

2.9 – For a horse to be eligible for a claiming race, a correct claiming authority form must be lodged prior to the close of nominations.

2.10 – A trainer may nominate a horse in a claiming race via HarnessWeb or on the official nomination form, with a claiming price equal to or above the minimum claiming price lodged by the owner/s on an official claiming authority form.

2.11 – The claiming price for a horse may not be altered after the advertised close of nominations, even when the nominations are extended.

2.12 – In a claiming race governed by a minimum claiming price, a horse may nominate with a claiming price $1,000 lower than the front of the race. The horse may be claimed for the price for which it was entered.

2.13 – A horse claimed from a claiming race will become ineligible for any other claiming race for which nominations have closed or acceptances have been taken.

2.14 – Any horse that is owned or trained by a person/s listed on the ‘Unpaid Forfeits List’ at the time nominations close will be made ‘Nomination Subject’. The horse may not be eligible to be re-instated at acceptance time unless the outstanding amount is paid in full and the person/s are removed from the ‘Unpaid Forfeits List’ by the HRV Finance Department.

2.15 – A confirmed driver engagement must be notified to HRV no later than the time prescribed beneath the individual race program in Harness Racer.


3. SCRATCHINGS

3.1 – Horses scratched prior to Acceptance Time with a veterinary certificate must lodge such veterinary certificate within 48 hours* of Acceptance Time. The period of the ban will be a minimum of 6 days from the date of Acceptance Time for the meeting.

3.2 – Horses scratched after Acceptance Time will be automatically stood down from racing for a period of 14 days from the date of the meeting, except that in cases where a veterinary certificate is lodged and accepted by the Stewards within 48 hours* of the meeting, the period of the ban will be a minimum of 6 days from the date of the meeting.

3.3 – A horse engaged as an emergency can be scratched penalty free prior to 8.30am on the morning of the meeting, except as provided in 4.6, 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9.

3.4 – Final scratchings are taken at 8.30am on the morning of each race meeting. Emergencies will be withdrawn at this time if there have been no scratchings in the race.

3.5 – Horses scratched after 8.30am on race day will be automatically stood down from racing for a period of 28 days from the date of the meeting, except that in cases where a veterinary certificate is lodged and accepted by the Stewards within 48 hours* of the meeting, the period of the ban will be a minimum of 6 days from the date of the meeting.

3.6 – A horse that is a late scratching due to a float breakdown will be automatically stood down from racing for a period of 28 days from the date of the meeting, except that in cases where a mechanical certificate of repair is lodged and accepted by the Stewards within 48 hours* of the meeting, the ban may be reduced to a minimum of 6 days. If the Stewards are not satisfied that a late scratching due to a float breakdown is legitimate, then the provisions of Rule 88 may be enforced.

*Paperwork not lodged within 48 hours for the above penalties may be considered at the discretion of The Stewards for approval or otherwise.

3.7 – A scratching fee of $49 (inc. GST) will apply excepting: (a) if the scratching is lodged before the original close of nominations, (b) if a veterinary certificate is lodged – such horses will be stood down from racing for the period stated on the veterinary certificate, subject to minimum scratching penalties listed above, (c) if the horse has scratched under the ‘2 day rule’ – that is, a horse’s nomination may be withdrawn prior to Acceptance Time for any meeting in the 2 calendar days following a meeting at which the horse gains a start. The ‘2 day rule’ also applies to Friday meetings when acceptances are taken after those for the principal Saturday meeting, (d) if the horse is an emergency in the race, (e) if the race was programmed as a discretionary handicap.

3.8 – On days when multiple Acceptance Times are scheduled, if a horse gains a start in a race, it is the responsibility of the trainer to withdraw such horse from subsequent nominations before Acceptance Time if he/she does not want such horse to gain another start.

3.9 – If, following the release of fields, a horse is scratched due to a change of ownership, such horse, upon lodgement of the transfer of ownership papers, may have the scratching penalty lifted. A horse that is scratched due to a change of trainer will remain liable to the appropriate scratching penalties, unless such horse has been transferred to an interstate trainer, in which case the scratching penalty may be lifted upon approval from the Stewards.

3.10 – On a race day where the forecast maximum temperature for the race meeting venue is determined by the Bureau of Meteorology to exceed thirty eight degrees Celsius (38ºC), the trainer of a horse engaged at that meeting may scratch the horse free of penalty prior to 8.30am on the day of the meeting. Scratchings effected after 8.30 AM on race day will attract the normal scratching penalty. Such applications may only be made on the day of the race, and notified to the Racing Office.

3.11 – A horse which is a starter in a race and is re-handicapped following a win in another race may scratch without penalty by contacting the HRV Handicapping Panel prior to 8.30 AM. on race morning.

3.12 – A horse drawn on consecutive days as an emergency for a metropolitan penalty race and a starter in a career penalty race may be scratched by connections without penalty from the career penalty race provided there has been a scratching from the metropolitan penalty race and application is made to the Racing Office.


4. FIELD SELECTION

4.1 – If a horse accepts for two or more races at a meeting, a trainer may notify the HRV Handicapping Panel of a preference for one race over another, however, such horse will be given a start in the race which allows the field selector to maximise field sizes.

4.2 – Wherever possible, a mare that accepts for two races will be given a start in a mares race in preference to an open race, dependant upon the number of acceptors.

4.3 – Any horse which qualifies in a Heat/Semi-Final and is scratched from that Final before Acceptance Time will incur a 14 day scratching penalty from the date of the Final, except that in cases where a veterinary certificate is lodged and accepted by the Stewards within 48 hours of the meeting, the period of the ban will be a minimum of 6 days from the date of the Final.

4.4 – Wherever deemed appropriate, HRV may conduct a graduation penalty race with stakemoney up to $3,500 comprised of horses balloted from a career penalty race/s. Trainers of balloted horses will be phoned to ascertain their willingness to run in such race and will be contacted in descending points score order.

4.5 – A horse will be ineligible to gain a start in a race if it has already been drawn into a race on the same day, unless otherwise stated in the race conditions.

4.6 – A horse that is engaged as an emergency for the Final of a race may be granted a start in another race on the same day. If there is a scratching from the Final, such horse is required to contest the Final and will be scratched without penalty from the other race. Should such horse scratch from the Final, it will be deemed ineligible for the other race.

4.7 – A horse that is engaged as an emergency in a feature race of higher stakemoney may be granted a start in a race of lesser stakemoney at the same meeting. If there is a scratching from the feature race, such horse is required to contest the feature race and will be scratched without penalty from the other race. Should such horse scratch from the feature race, it will be deemed ineligible for the other race.

4.8 – A horse that is engaged as an emergency in a career penalty race may be granted a start in a graduation penalty or penalty free race with stakemoney up to $3,500 on the same day. If there is a scratching from the career penalty race, such horse is required to contest that race and will be scratched without penalty from the other race. Should such horse scratch from the career penalty race, it will be deemed ineligible for the other race.

4.9 – A horse that is engaged as an emergency in a metropolitan penalty race may be granted a start in a career penalty race on the same day. If there is a scratching from the metropolitan penalty race, such horse is required to contest that race and will be scratched without penalty from the other race. Should such horse scratch from the metropolitan penalty race, it will be deemed ineligible for the other race.

4.10 – A horse that is declared as an emergency in two or more heats/divisions of a race or two individual races at the same meeting shall be deemed as a starter in the heat/division or individual race from which the earliest timed scratching was taken. Such horse shall then be automatically scratched from the other heat/division or individual race.

4.11 – A horse that is declared as an emergency in two or more races at different venues on the same day may scratch from one venue in preference to the other venue.

4.12 – If a race is re-drawn to allow for the inclusion of another horse, such horse will be randomly drawn a number from the range of barriers it was eligible to draw and all other barrier positions will be adjusted accordingly.


5. GENERAL

5.1 – A horse must have attained the age of two years old and be named to be eligible to compete in a Qualifying or Official Trial.

5.2 – In a race of any class, the term ‘Mares’ shall refer to and include Mares and Fillies and the term ‘Entires and Geldings’ shall refer to and include Colts, Entires and Geldings.

5.3 – If a horse qualifies for the Final of a race when it already has an engagement as a starter at a prior race meeting, it may scratch from the prior engagement before 8.30a.m. on race morning without incurring any scratching penalty, upon approval from the HRV Handicapping Panel.

5.4 – Having qualified for a Final, a horse may only scratch from another engagement without incurring a scratching penalty if such qualification occurred after Acceptance Time for the other engagement.

5.5 – A horse may race one or more assessment marks above its class, however, it will only incur one handicapping penalty, except in the case of a 2YO or 3YO winning an open age race.

5.6 – Conditions for Heats/Finals are addressed in section 1.1 of the Victorian Programming Guidelines.

5.7 – The eligibility of a Concession Driver to claim a concession is addressed in section 1.3 of the Victorian Programming Guidelines.

5.8 – The eligibility of a mare to claim a Mares Allowance is addressed in section 1.4 of the Victorian Programming Guidelines.

5.9 – Any owner or trainer considering importing a horse from New Zealand or overseas is advised to forward a copy of the horse’s winning performances to the HRV Handicapping Panel before purchasing the horse. This will enable the horse’s official handicapping assessment to be determined before committing to the purchase.

5.10 – It is compulsory for drivers to have their name on their driving pants, meeting the following specifications: – First and last name, italics not permitted. – Black or blue capital letters above the seam. – 40mm high letters. – Name length not to exceed 275mm.

5.11 – Any new race wear sponsorship and artwork design details for racing colours or drivers pants and helmets must be submitted in writing to the HRV Licensing Department for approval before they can be worn in a race.

5.12 – Drivers fines must be paid within seven days of being imposed. Failure to do so may result in further penalty.

5.13 – A suspended driver is eligible to drive in Qualifying and Official Trials.

5.14 – Any alteration to gear for a horse with an upcoming racing engagement must be notified in writing or via HarnessWeb prior to Driver Notification time for such meeting.

5.15 – In the event a horse wins a race and is a starter (or emergency) in a mobile race for which the field is already drawn, provided such horse remains eligible for the race it shall not have its barrier position altered.

5.16 – A manual barrier draw will be conducted for all races with stake money of $50,000 or more. Generally these will be conducted in the foyer at the Offices of HRV unless otherwise stipulated. Contact HRV Racing Office for details of specific draws.


6. FIELD LIMITS

6.1 – At all racetracks with a circumference of 900 metres and greater, a field limit of 12 starters will apply. At all racetracks with a circumference of less than 900 metres, a field limit of 10 starters in mobile races and 12 starters in standing start races will apply, pending restrictions at some venues.

6.2 – All races run over 1720m or less will be restricted to 10 starters at all venues.

6.3 – All restricted penalty races will be restricted to 10 starters.

6.4 – The HRV Board may determine on occasions that a feature race will be conducted with an increased field limit.


7. SEEDED PREFERENTIAL BARRIER DRAWS

Seeded Preferential Barrier Draw are no longer used in Victoria (1 May 2015)


8. QUALIFYING TO RACE

8.1 – To be eligible for a mobile start race a horse must qualify in a mobile start Qualifying Trial and/or to be eligible for a standing start race a horse must qualify in a standing start Qualifying Trial.

8.2 – To qualify to race, a horse must, to the satisfaction of the Stewards:

8.2.1 – In a mobile start – score up without interference to other horses and be in its correct barrier position and be within one metre of the mobile barrier gate from the candy pole to the starting point, then complete the trial in a competitive manner without losing gait or rhythm.

8.2.2 – In a standing start – not delay the start through intractability and leave the barrier at the correct gait then complete the trial in a competitive manner without losing gait or rhythm.

8.2.3 – For such qualifications to be valid, a minimum of four horses must contest a mobile start trial and a minimum of three horses shall contest a standing start trial, unless otherwise determined and approved by Stewards.

8.2.4 – A horse trained outside the state of Victoria will be qualified to race in a mobile start at a race meeting in Victoria if such horse has raced or qualified from a mobile start in the State or Country where it is trained, or has qualified in the state of Victoria.

8.2.5 – A horse trained outside the state of Victoria will be qualified to race in a standing start at a race meeting in Victoria if such horse has raced or qualified from a standing start in the State or Country where it is trained, or has qualified in the state of Victoria.

8.3 – To change the gait of a horse, the owner or trainer must lodge with HRV a written request accompanied by the assessment certificate. The horse must re-qualify and a further change of gait cannot be approved until the expiration of three months from the date of the previous request.

8.4 – A horse must be qualified to race prior to acceptance time for a given meeting.

8.5 – A horse that qualifies without having had a valid Stable Return lodged may have that qualification rescinded.

8.6 – The total of 24 Field Selection Points gained by a horse when first qualified to race will not be altered if the horse thereafter qualifies for the alternate type of start (mobile or stand) in a Qualifying Trial.

For further information regarding qualification requirements refer to Conduct of Qualifying Trials.


9. AUTOMATIC FIELD SELECTION SYSTEM

9.1 – Fields for country meetings and Tabcorp Park Melton non-metropolitan meetings are selected in accordance with the Automatic Field Selection System.

9.2 – In career penalty races with stakemoney of $3,501 or more, fields will be selected in descending points score order, unless otherwise stated in the race conditions. In penalty free or graduation penalty races with stakemoney of $3,500 or less, fields will be selected in ascending points score order (ie. from the bottom up), with the exception of races within the criteria of section 4.4, or unless otherwise stated in the race conditions.

9.3 – Horses earn field selection points in accordance with the following table.

9.3.1 – Field Selection Points

Placing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10-14
Points 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

 

9.3.2 – A bonus of four points is added to a horse’s Field Selection Points for all Metropolitan Penalty Bearing races.

9.3.3 – A horse will be awarded 6 field selection points if it is balloted from a race run at a country class meeting with stakemoney in excess of $3,500 but not more than $14,999. These ballot points are treated as a points scoring performance and will replace such horse’s current lowest point scoring performance of their last five starts. This will not be applicable under the following scenarios:

a) a manual field selection race

b) when a horse has an unfulfilled engagement

c) a race selected in ascending points score order

d) when a horse is a late nomination

e) when a horse is deemed ineligible at acceptance time

f) when a horse is balloted from a race having gained a start in another race on the same day

g) when a horse is balloted from a race having already been balloted from another race on the same day

h) if the horse is declared an emergency but is scratched prior to final declaration of scratchings

i) if the race is declared a ‘no-race’ or is abandoned.

These points will be credited to a horse’s field selection points total after the running of the race meeting from which the horse has been balloted.

9.3.4 – When a horse qualifies to race it will be initially allotted a points score of 24 points (4 ‘gifted’ starts x 6 points). The points score of a newly qualified horse will then be calculated in the same manner as for a horse with a racing history, that is, by considering the horse’s last five points scoring performances and discarding the least points scoring performance so that the total of the remaining four points scoring performances becomes the points score used in the Automatic Field Selection System.

Example: Horse XYZ qualified and earns 24 points as above. The example below shows the horse’s points alter after each performance.

Start Placing Points Score Calculation
1 (Qual)   6    
2 (Qual)   6    
3 (Qual)   6    
4 (Qual)   6 24 6,6,6,6
5 (Race) 9th 1 24 6,6,6,6,1 (1 discarded)
6 (Race) 7th 3 21 6,6,6,1,3 (1 discarded)
7 (Race) 1st 10 25 6,6,1,3,10 (1 discarded)
8 (Race) 6th 4 23 6,1,3,10,4 (1 discarded)
9 (Race) 12th 0 18 1,3,10,4,0 (0 discarded)
10 (Race) 2nd 8 25 3,10,4,0,8 (0 discarded)

 

9.3.5 – For career penalty races with stakemoney of $3,501 or more, in the event of two or more horses being equal with the same points score, a countback will determine which horse gains a start, with preference given to the horse which earned the highest points at its last start. If both/all horses earned the same points, this procedure will be repeated through each previous start. If both/all horses cannot be separated, the computer will implement a random ballot to determine which horse/s gain a start.

9.3.6 – For penalty free or graduation penalty races with stakemoney of $3,500 or less, in the event of two or more horses being equal with the same points score, a countback will determine which horse gains a start, with preference given to the horse which earned the lowest points at its last start. If both/all horses earned the same points, this procedure will be repeated through each previous start. If both/all horses cannot be separated, the computer will implement a random ballot to determine which horse/s gain a start.

9.3.7 – For any race where the field is selected under the Automatic Field Selection System, with more than one horse being equal on 24 points, unraced horses will take preference over horses also on 24 points who have had one or more race starts.

9.3.8 – Horses will be eligible for interference compensation if, in the opinion of the Steward-In-Charge, significant interference has occurred. Points will be allocated accordingly.

9.3.9 – A horse that has an engagement as a starter in a race with stakemoney of $2,000 or more (not as an emergency) at Acceptance Time for a given meeting will be deemed as having an Unfulfilled Engagement. Horses with an Unfulfilled Engagement will only be selected after horses without an engagement. An Unfulfilled Engagement is deemed to be a racing engagement in any state of Australia, up until midnight the day of acceptances. Preference in field selection will be given to horses with the least number of engagements.

9.3.10 - A Horse with two unfulfilled engagements (as a starter, not as an emergency) at acceptance time for any race will be deemed ineligible to compete in such race. Where a horses is drawn in as a starter in two races, it shall be withdrawn from any other engagements as emergency where final scratchings are yet to be declared. Races conducted as multiple runnings at the one meeting will be deemed as one unfulfilled engagement.


10. METROPOLITAN MEETINGS

10.1 – Fields for metropolitan class meetings are selected by the HRV Field Selection Panel. The Automatic Field Selection System and the Unfulfilled Engagement rule are not applicable.


11. EXCLUSION FROM BARRIER DRAW

11.1 – Horses excluded from the barrier draw at a race meeting will be listed on the Horse Action Notification form which will be located on the Stewards Room door or in the nearby vicinity. Stewards will not interview the trainer and/or driver, but if either licensee wishes to contest the decision, they are entitled to approach the Stewards and make submissions. It is the responsibility of the trainer and/or driver to check the Horse Action Notification form and make arrangements to see the Stewards on the day of the race meeting.


12. RE-INCLUSION INTO BARRIER DRAW

12.1 – A horse seeking re-inclusion into the barrier draw is required to barrier trial at a Qualifying Trial or in a race on two consecutive occasions to the satisfaction of the Stewards before being re-instated into the barrier draw. Both trials/races cannot be performed on the same day.

12.2 – A trainer seeking to have his/her horse re-included into the barrier draw must notify Stewards on the day of the race meeting or trials fixture prior to the horse’s racing engagement, as well as completing and signing the Horse Bar Record form which is located with the Stewards.

12.3 – To be deemed a satisfactory start:-

12.3.1 – Mobile Start – A horse must score up and be in its correct barrier position and within one metre of the barrier from the candy pole to the starting point, then negotiate the first 100 metres without losing gait or rhythm and complete the trial/race.

12.3.2 – Standing Start – A horse must not delay the start through intractability. It must leave the barrier at its correct gait and then negotiate the first 100 metres without losing gait or rhythm and complete the trial/race.


13. DRIVERS FEES

13.1 – For ALL races the drivers fee is $65.

 


14. HRV STAKEMONEY SCHEDULE

Metropolitan Class Races $ 16,000
Career Class Tier 1 $ 10,000
Career Class Tier 2 $ 7,000
Career Class Tier 3 $ 5,000
Restricted Class $ 3,500