Dundalk as it Happens
Call for horse racing in Dundalk to finish earlier in interest of worker safety
Two of the leading players in the horse racing industry have called on races at Dundalk Stadium to finish earlier to ensure workers make it home safe.
Irish Stable Staff boss Bernard Caldwell and Racehorse Trainers’ Association chief Michael Grassick are worried that the safety of workers making the journey home from Dundalk is being jeopardised by late finishes.
They told the Racing Post today that late finishes at the local track mean staff are often travelling home in icy conditions.
For the two weeks before Christmas and first six weeks in January and February, Dundalk has agreed to run its last race at 8.30pm, rather than 9pm, allowing stable staff and trainers to make an earlier exit but that does not go far enough according to Caldwell and Grassick, who have called for an 8pm finish over winter.
Grassick told The Racing Post: “People don’t realise how late stable staff are getting home from the races. From my own experience if you’ve a runner in the last race at 9pm, it will be after midnight that you’re back at the Curragh and we all know that the majority of the trainers at Dundalk on a Friday night are making much longer trips than that, and many have to be in work next morning.
“It would be most desirable if we could finish each meeting at 8pm, particularly at this point, given the pressures the industry is facing from the Workplace Relations Committee and the staffing issues that face the sport.”
Dundalk Stadium chief executive Jim Martin told the publication that an earlier finish would also mean starting racing earlier which could deter racegoers.
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