ATA Victorian Branch – Members Update / Victoria / 02 Apr, 2009

COMPULSORY TRIALS

The ATA has again reaffirmed its complete opposition to the introduction of compulsory trials for unraced horses.

The ATA has provided RVL with examples of the additional costs (totaling approximately $300 in transport, labour and trials fee costs) which would be incurred by owners if the proposal were to be adopted.

RVL is yet to provide the ATA with information comparing turnover on 2yo races in Sydney (where compulsory trialing is in place) with Victoria, or statistics on the number of horses racing without having competed in a trial in Victoria.

Pending a review of the feasibility of converting jumpouts to trials at training centres, the availability of metropolitan tracks for such trials and the costs, RVL has committed to further discussions with the ATA, prior to the proposed adoption of the proposal on June 1.

TRACK PREPARATION AND RATINGS

Responding to recurring problems with track preparation and inaccurate ratings, RVL is considering upgrading the skill set of Track Managers to address both problems.

The ATA has called for the imposition of penalties on Clubs that fail to comply with the RVL Track Preparation Policy.

ACCEPTANCE TIMES

The ATA has reiterated its strong opposition to the push to bring forward acceptances for Saturday meetings to Wednesday.

The proposed change would disadvantage owners and trainers by adding further increases to the costs of racing through an increase in the number of scratchings.

Retaining the present Thursday arrangements enables trainers to decide final acceptances as late as possible and enable horses which would otherwise face the risk of being balloted from races from gaining a position in the final field.

The ATA did however support the retention of the present arrangements for final acceptances being declared on Wednesdays for Saturday Group One races.

MINIMUM WEIGHTS

The ATA has supported Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter’s proposal to increase the minimum topweight in Handicap and Listed races from the current 58kgs to 59kgs and for all Group One handicaps from the current 57kgs to 58kgs.

The ATA also supported the minimum weight in all Group One handicap races being increased by 1kg to 52kgs.

DIRECTIONS PAPER

The ATA’s response opposing the implementation of the Directions Paper was presented to RVL.

RVL has assured the ATA that no Race Club will be denied funding. Furthermore, RVL will also undertake a review of each Race Club’s funding requirements under its Training Tracks Maintenance Fund requirements, before deciding each individual annual allocation. It was recognised that some Race Clubs needed more funding and a five year plan would be developed in conjunction with CRV.

A major change would also result in the pooling of CRV and RVL funding to Country Clubs whereby they would receive one allocation. RVL would assume responsibility for ensuring the Clubs are held accountable for the funds and their expenditure, and the setting of performance standards.

The role of the Country Race Clubs will be redefined in conjunction with CRV following a two day conference in April where the Directions Paper will itself be further refined, before being presented to the RVL Board for consideration and adoption.

MORE 3YO CLASS/RATINGS COUNTRY RACES IN APRIL/JULY

Responding to feedback from the ATA regarding the lack of 3yo class/ratings races, RVL has programmed an additional 20 races (a 40% increase) during the non-carnival months of April-July this year.