RIVERINA trainers will meet with Harness Racing NSW officials in Wagga on Thursday night armed with a list of issues they want addressed, with race programming one of the major grievances.
Trainers from across the region met in Junee on Tuesday night to prepare themselves for the meeting at Riverina Paceway, where the impact of the national rating system introduced across the state in July will be a hot topic.
Junee-based trainer Matt Harris said the situation had reached a point where industry participants will demand action.
He said the changes make it difficult to maximise the earning capacity of middle bracket horses.
"They're trying to maximise field sizes and that maximises their betting turnover," Harris said.
"I'm not against what they're trying to do at all, there just has to be a balance there.
"We're finding it difficult to place our horses where they're viable or economical. I think 80 per cent of people dislike it (national rating system), it helps 20 per cent of horses but the reality is they will eat more than they earn anyway.
"With the national rating system in, we need to be more creative with our race programming to work around it, but they're not listening to what we want.
"I'm aware we need (betting) turnover, there just needs to be a balance or compromise somewhere to make it sustainable."
Harris said the reduction of three year old races has also made it more difficult for up-and-coming horses to find suitable races to progress through the ranks.
"They're racing two year olds now against older horses and that's a backwards step," he said.
"It's like playing 15 year old kids in first grade football, and that is clearly to maximise field sizes."
Wagga's new multimillion dollar harness racing track has already experienced issues dealing with wet weather, with the last two races of a July meeting abandoned due to a small amount of rainfall.
Similar mid-afternoon rain also reduced the track to mud at Friday's meeting, with sources alleging stewards were likely to have abandoned racing if any more races were scheduled.
Harris said the venue had been a massive boost for the industry and was confident the problems would eventually be resolved.