- Races at Ascot have been cancelled this weekend
- A scorching heatwave is expected to hit Perth
- The action has been abandoned due to safety fears
A racing weekend has been cancelled over fears for the safety of the animals and jockeys amid a searing heatwave.
Temperatures are set to be pushed to 41C to the south of Western Australia over the weekend, with the heat expected to consume Perth from Saturday.
As a result, race organisers have been forced to abandon proceedings at Ascot Racecourse this weekend.
They had initially wanted to push the event into the afternoon or evening, but after learning that the high temperatures will linger into the night, the races were abandoned.
‘The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting Saturday’s 41C will continue into the evening,’ Perth Racing chief executive James Oldring said on Thursday.
Racing at Ascot has been abandoned this weekend due to a searing heatwave
Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 41C in the city this weekend
‘This ruled out hopes we could change to a twilight timeslot.
‘There was no chance we would consider racing in 41C because welfare of horses and people are given absolute priority.’
The cancelled Ascot events will be included in future race programs, the governing body announced.
After the scorching hot temperatures on Saturday, the heat is expected to hang around for several more days, with maximum temperatures of 36C to 38C forecast throughout next week.
Perth will be the worst affected major city but it is also expected to be a balmy weekend in most other parts of the country.
Western Australia’s heatwave warning will spread into South Australia come Friday, with nearly the entirety of the state to be consumed by a low-intensity heatwave. Adelaide will see a high of 32C on Saturday.
It is a similar situation in the Northern Territory, with a low-intensity heatwave expected.
Organisers have confirmed that the abandoned races will be rescheduled