ATA Victorian Branch – Members Update / Victoria / 21 Nov, 2012


ATA President Colin Alderson’s media release responding to the recent media reports on Integrity issues relating to trainers is published in full, below:

ATA President Colin Alderson reaffirmed support for Racing Victoria Integrity Policies relating to drug free racing.

He rejected assertions in the media relating to the effectiveness of both the drug testing policy and regimes in Victoria.

“From information provided by Racing Victoria, more than 14,000 drug tests were conducted on racehorses in Victoria during the 2011/2012 racing season. This is extensive, if not more than those conducted in other sports. And of these 14,000 tests, nine returned positives, most of which were to treatments with therapeutics, and the trainers involved were penalized. The ATA does not condone practices which undermine the rules of racing and strongly urges all trainers to comply with these rules. We strongly support Racing Victoria’s continued vigilance in ensuring that the rules of racing are complied with.

“It is also important to recognise that over the recently concluded VRC Spring Racing Carnival, 29 different trainers were successful in training the winners of 37 races, suggesting there is a greater level playing field than has been asserted in the media reports”, he said.

“It is essential that Racing Victoria take a more proactive stand in communicating its extensive drug testing policies and its drug testing regimes to all participants in the racing industry and to the wider community”, he added.

Colin Alderson also reminded Trainers who had any concerns with Integrity issues that they could raise these under anonymity with either Racing Victoria’s Integrity department or with Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna.


Racing Victoria has released an update on wagering during the spring carnival period commencing from Caulfield Guineas day to last weekend’s Sandown Cup and Guineas day. During this period, Tabcorp has reported a 5.4 per cent increase in wagering in Victoria, which is a very pleasing and welcome result for the Victorian racing industry, given the present circumstances and environment.


The ATA has formally requested Racing Victoria to conduct a review of the compensation payment structure for cancelled race meetings, which has been in place for many years. Racing Victoria has advised that it will review the entire payment structure and will seek further information and consultation with the ATA.


Racing Victoria has advised that the IER Consultancy Group will commence interviews over the next few weeks with trainers at the major metropolitan training centres and the Industry training centre at Cranbourne to review Training track hours at these centres. The ATA has received a diverse range of opinions and views on the subject, and awaits the outcome of the review and its recommendations.


Following a request from the ATA, Racing Victoria has instigated a review of the Late Nomination Fees for races (currently 3% of prize money).


Greg Nichols’ appointment to the Board of Racing Victoria will be formally ratified at RV’s Annual General Meeting on November 29. Greg Nichols’ nomination and candidature for the Board was strongly supported by the ATA, and Greg has committed to liaising closely and regularly with the ATA on racing matters and in particular those relating to trainers.


The ATA has again raised the issues of track preparation and accurate track ratings with Racing Victoria. The ATA has expressed its strong concerns about the preparation of tracks during the current spring and forthcoming summer months and has called for increased vigilance and accountability in ensuring Track managers are regularly communicated with and given appropriate guidance in ensuring tracks are prepared in accordance with Racing Victoria Track Preparation Policy. The ATA has urged Racing Victoria to ensure watering policies are in keeping with the Track Preparation Policy in preventing the presentation of tracks that are too firm.


The ATA legal advisors have reviewed the ATA Terms and Conditions of Training. Members will be provided with an updated version shortly.


The ATA has welcomed the installation of a Strathayr racetrack at Moe, jointly funded by the Moe Racing Club, the Victorian Racing Minister’s Racing Industry Fund and Racing Victoria. The Strathayr racing surface has proven to be a true all weather racing surface which can cope with weather extremes and prevent the cancellation of race meetings.


With the Yearling Sales season for 2013 approaching, members are reminded that Executive Thoroughbred Travel - the ATA preferred travel partner, can assist trainers with flights and accommodation packages for all the domestic and New Zealand Yearling Sales. Executive Thoroughbred Travel are also the preferred travel organisation for New Zealand Bloodstock. ATA Members can contact the team at Executive Thoroughbred Travel on (03) 9251 3535 or to utilise their expertise when next needing to travel.