The Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry has almost finalised its immediate strategy for two key matters.
The first, prizemoney, has been the subject of ongoing review and stakeholder debate since the middle of 2016. Members will be aware that part one of the strategy - an uplift in overall prizemoney to $100,000 for 2YO, 3YO and Open Class Races at metropolitan Saturday meetings - rolled out on 1 February 2017.
Pleasingly, recent discussions with RVL confirmed the strategy for part two - prizemoney modelling for all other ratings races and venues - has been all but finalised, with RVL having achieved consensus on the direction at their recent March Board meeting.
The ATA has been resolute promoting our strong view that the strategy must provide for an equitable increase across all races and venues. Simply, our members and the industry deserve this, the racing product will benefit from it, and RVL has the funds to provide for this. We await with interest the formal announcement from RVL on this part two strategy, which we understand will be made public around the time of their May Board meeting.
The second matter surrounds the industry’s synthetic track needs. At present, Geelong & Pakenham carry the synthetic racing season, with in excess of 40 scheduled meetings annually. Invariably, transfers from our grass venues during the season occur due to wet weather, which means this number is closer to 50 meetings by season end.
The current debate is not one around workload, although it is recognised the Geelong pro-ride surface is nearing the end of its natural life. The question is more aligned to location, and whether RVL need consider an alternative or additional track to support participants who, on many occasions, are severely disadvantaged by the distances they must travel to access the current tracks.
There are a multitude of factors to consider here, as any new track or location will require a major financial investment by RVL. In terms of a decision, what is the key driver or drivers then? Return on investment? Prioritising the health and well being of the participant? Driving an equalisation policy for participants across the state? To be truthful, there is no single right or wrong answer.
Either way, we are closely monitoring this matter with RVL, and providing input as an Association where possible. Again, this is a matter RVL has debated long and hard during recent Board meetings. Further discussions are planned for their April meeting, with a forward strategy to be determined - all things being equal - at their May Board meeting.
We will keep members up to date as these vital matters progress to a conclusion.
Should you wish to provide your feedback in writing in relation to this matter, please do so by CLICKING HERE
Alternatively, contact the office on (03) 9372-1688 should any one wish to discuss this matter with myself.
Chief Executive Officer