The Australian Trainers’ Association (ATA) has been a vocal supporter of Racing Victoria’s (RV) stand-alone Saturday race meetings at regional venues. Currently, this extends to meetings at four venues - Bendigo, Ballarat, Mornington and Pakenham racecourses.
These four tracks are popular race venues, supporting strong local racing communities. The race meetings showcase the region and also provide an economic boon for local businesses.
Given all the positives that surround this initiative, there has been only one negative to this point from an ATA perspective - the inequity in prize money when compared to the Saturday metropolitan counterpart meeting.
Essentially, as this IS the metropolitan meeting of the day, surely it is deserving of equivalent prize money so it can provide a like for like product i.e.; quality of race & horse. This will provide added incentive for racegoers to attend on-course, both those who reside locally and those wishing to travel to these destinations. Finally, let us not forget that wagering will most certainly increase in line with an improved racing product, which can only be good for racing.
With so much more to gain, the ATA has lobbied consistently on this point to RV, and……RV has listened! Pleasingly, for the 2017/2018 season, each of the four venues has an allocated prize money pool of $920,000. This is the equivalent to that on offer for a standard Saturday at Flemington, Moonee Valley and Caulfield.
These are marquee days for the four clubs, with a variety of Listed, Group and Handicap races scheduled. Additionally, it is not unusual to see 10 races on the card. For that reason, prize money allocations will not mirror the Melbourne minimums for the typical nine race card. However, RV has also determined that no single race will run for less than $60,000, ensuring minimum prize money in line with the 9th race run at the Saturday metropolitan racetrack.
This is a wonderful outcome, and one that will further benefit the public & participants alike. And as they say, racing is the big winner here!
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 with myself.
Chief Executive Officer