RACE CLUB MERGERS WELCOMED BY ATA
Recent reports relating to the imminent merger of the Melbourne Racing Club and the Mornington Race Club are welcomed by the ATA.
The ATA, along with TROA, was one of the main advocates of Race Club mergers when this was raised some five years ago at the first industry summit arranged by RVL to identify and address major issues facing the Victorian racing industry.
The continuing challenges faced by the Victorian racing industry on many fronts and particularly in relation to prize money and funding for the maintenance of race tracks and training tracks, has highlighted more than ever, the need for Race Clubs and RVL to seize the initiative and prioritise areas such as resource sharing and efficiencies in administration.
The arguments in the past against mergers increasingly smack of self interest and clearly hinders the opportunity for increased returns to trainers, owners, jockeys and breeders. It is not good enough to trot out the same old arguments that Victorian prize money is ahead of the other States. The bottom line is that prize money in Victoria has failed to keep up with the spiraling costs of racing, many of which have been caused by external factors.
RVL and the Race Clubs have an obligation to ensure that cost savings are achieved wherever possible so that the much needed infrastructure improvements and boosts to prize money become a reality.
The time has come for action on Race Club mergers.
GEELONG DELAYS CANNOT BE REPEATED
The long delays with the reconstruction of the Geelong Thoroughtrack must not be repeated with any similar project at a Victorian race track / training centre.
It should be acknowledged that the problems with the Thoroughtrack were largely the result of decisions made in haste by previous RVL management in constructing the track in the first place.
The ATA has been informed that professional engineering expertise identified serious problems with the base of the Thoroughtrack which required extensive and repeated testing, subsequently resulting in delays to the work being completed in the time frame originally promised.
These delays have caused significant inconvenience to Geelong trainers who have been provided with inadequate and severely restricted training facilites and with local trainers and owners being forced to endure additional costs to have their horses transported to Colac and Terang for jumpouts and trials at Cranbourne.
The ATA believes that there is a very strong case for Geelong trainers to be compensated for the extra costs that have resulted from these delays.
MOONEE VALLEY PLANS MUST BE FULLY DEBATED
The plans by the Moonee Valley Race Club to undertake a major reconstruction of the track must be the subject of a full consultative process with all industry stakeholders and shareholders.
The planned project has many long term implications for Victorian racing and as such all industry participants must be fully briefed and consulted before the green light is given to the project.