FIELD LIMITS INCREASED FOR NIGHT RACES IN LAUNCESTON
The Australian Trainers Association (ATA) recently wrote to Racing Services Tasmania seeking their assistance in reviewing the current limits on field sizes (12 starters) for night races in Launceston.
The current field size limits of 12 starters per race greatly restricts the opportunities for many horses to gain a start in races and compete for prize money, which is further compounded with the limited number of race meetings held in Tasmania each week. It has resulted in continuing frustration and angst for trainers and their owners in attempting to secure a start for their horses and often impacts adversely on training preparations and programs for horses.
Racing Services Tasmania has advised that following discussions with key stakeholders, Stewards have approved an increase in field sizes from twelve (12) to fourteen (14) over most distances, based on the rail being in the true position out to 3 metres.
DEDICATED OWNERS AND TRAINERS FACILITY AT LAUNCESTON
The Australian Trainers Association has sought the Tasmanian Turf Club’s (TTC) cooperation in establishing a separate facility at Launceston Racecourse as a dedicated Owners and Trainers Room for the use of Trainers and their Owners during the night racing season.
An Owners and Trainers Room would be welcomed by many trainers and their owners and would provide trainers who have starters at night meetings, with a facility where they could watch a post-race replay with their owners and enjoy refreshments (sandwiches, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages).
The TTC have advised that they have been in negotiations for some time with Tasracing on this very subject, acknowledging that the current facility is less than adequate and they believe that the upgrading of facilities for owners and trainers is of extreme importance.
Although the TTC are not in a position to provide time lines, they are proposing to increase the size of the current facility and turning that area into a dedicated owner and trainer facility.
MORE MONEY FOR TASMANIAN RACING
Thoroughbred racing in Tasmania will receive more money this season following the finalisation of a new code funding model by Tasracing.
The new model recognises and rewards the performance of each of the three codes as will result in the thoroughbred sector receiving $11.59 million, an increase of more than $75,000 compared to last financial year.
Harness racing will receive $5.83 million, an increase of more than $36,000, while greyhounds get a big jump in funding to $4 million, up more $490,000 compared to last year.
However the thoroughbred sector should be pleased as Tasracing had expected funding levels to decline.
Tasracing's Gary Lottering said improved wagering performance by the thoroughbred and harness codes in 2010/11 had resulted in a higher funding allocation than originally foreshadowed.
“The funding model we have introduced takes account of individual code performances,” he said.
“Before final figures for 2010/11 were available, based on turnover of previous years, we predicted that the thoroughbred and harness codes would have their funding reduced by 1.5 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
“But simply because of their improved performance in 2010/11, their respective allocations have increased. There is an obvious link here between performance and funding.”
“The model also takes into account relative cost to participants, the economic benefit delivered by each code, the attraction of the product to wagering customers and funding history.
“The model is a common sense approach that reflects normal commercial practices.”