The Stewards have spoken to Mr M J Freedman, trainer of CALIFORNIA ARCHER (A417), who has requested he be permitted to race the horse in blinkers without it being subjected to a blinkers test. Along with this request the Stewards have also been provided with written advice from Racing New South Wales that the horse, which raced with the same name prior to being imported into Hong Kong, wore blinkers in all of its successful race starts conducted in that jurisdiction.
Mr Freedman explained that after being withdrawn from its intended race start on 14 October 2017, the horse had performed disappointingly in a barrier trial on 24 October 2017. Subsequently he had applied blinkers to the horse in its trackwork on 31 October 2017, and he stated that this work had pleased him and is satisfied that this piece of equipment will assist the horse in racing more genuinely.
Mr Freedman’s request has been approved and the horse will wear blinkers and tongue tie, in addition to a hood as advised previously in its barrier trial result, in the stated race.