Wind to be explored as explanation for Caulfield track pattern

The Melbourne Racing Club will explore whether the wind played a part in favouring leaders on Saturday's Blue Diamond Stakes day.

MRC track staff have copped a barrage of criticism on social media from punters and racing participants, who believe the inside of the track provided too great an advantage to on-pace runners, giving backmarkers little hope of winning on the group 1 race day.

Linda Meech rides Pippie to victory in the Oakleigh Plate on Saturday.Credit:Getty Images

But MRC executive director of racing Jake Norton said there was no way to predict the track would produce such a pattern.

"According to our equipment that generates data and as well as anecdotal information, from three metres out it was even cover and similar going across the track," he said.

"We have contacts, guys who are professional track walkers and had discussions with them as late as Friday and interestingly enough, those views tended to differ somewhat.

"There was very little to foresee the pattern that emerged yesterday, but whether that was pattern or bias is a matter of opinion."

Wind could have played a major part in favouring on-pace runners on Saturday.

The southerly wind, albeit not strong, was behind horses' backs from the 1000-metre mark to the final turn, meaning runners on speed didn't have to do a lot of work before turning into the home straight.

Pippie won Saturday's Oakleigh Plate leading from start to finish in near-track record time.

She clocked a scintillating 20.26 between the 1000-metre and 600-metre mark with the wind behind her back, and turned into the straight with enough energy to hold off her rivals.

Tagaloa wins the Blue Diamond.Credit:Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ball Of Muscle, Faatinah and Free Of Debt, who also would have been favoured by any "on-pace bias" couldn't keep up with Pippie, fading to finish 17th, 15th and 18th respectively.

Tagaloa also won the group 1 Blue Diamond from three-wide on pace, but favourite Hanseatic was given every hope behind the leaders on the fence, yet couldn't get past the winning colt.

Streets Of Avalon, the 1400-metre specialist who was rock-hard fit off a seven-day back-up, held off Super Seth in the Futurity Stakes, Greysful Glamour led from start to finish in the Angus Armanasco, also relishing the wind behind her back before the straight, and Miss Siska enjoyed a very soft first-half of her race to win the final race of the day in moderate time.

Trainer Ciaron Maher was one of a few outspoken trainers on Saturday, telling Racenet: "It's been very disappointing today that you can't make ground on such a big day".

Jockey Damian Lane also said he thought the pattern helped him win on Miss Siska late in the day.

But Norton said, even with hindsight, the track staff wouldn't have done much different.

The rail was moved out three metres from the true position following the club's C.F. Orr Stakes meeting on February 8, due to the inside three metres being graded as significantly inferior ground.

"Whether or not there was compaction that creates lanes or generated that pattern, we'll do what we can to investigate that in the next few days," he said.

"But again, it was something we didn't see coming."

Norton added that some of the backlash aimed at track manager Jason Kerr via social media had been disgusting.

"Some of the rhetoric that I've seen about the track in the last 24 hours is bordering on outrageous and in a society when mental health is increasingly important and it's becoming more and more of a focus to the community, I'm almost astounded at some of the personal nonsense that gets bandied around on social media," he said.

"Jason Kerr's been managing tracks for 30-odd years, so the guy knows what he's doing."

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