THE Harness Racing mobile barrier speed will be increased to 48km/h for an eight-week trail period at Pinjarra race meetings only from Monday, June 25.
Stewards have been concerned for some time at the high number of horses in WA that either gallop in the score up or gallop at the start of races in comparison with other states.
The speed of the mobile barrier at starting release point is 46km/h and has been the set speed for the past 10 years.
In WA, the mobile barrier is fully automated with distance of score up, acceleration and take off speeds all pre-set and computer controlled but Standardbreds are much quicker than 10 years ago and their barrier speeds need to account for this.
The increased speed will allow for a more comfortable pacing speed during the score up and at the release point the horse will be able to naturally increase speed without becoming unbalanced.
Throughout the trial period and at the conclusion, stewards will consult with trainers, drivers and other stakeholders to ensure the increased mobile barrier speed has reduced the number of offences around the start of races and a decision will be made on the speed of the mobile barrier for all future race meetings in WA.
The trial is one of several initiatives Racing and Wagering WA stewards are looking at implementing to improve starting procedures intended to ensure all horses are afforded a fair start.