John Alducci (Strategy Manager) and I spent a productive day in Adelaide late last week.
We spent the early part of the day with Brenton Wilkinson (CEO) and Rob Heinjus (Manager Operations) from the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC). Central to discussions was identifying opportunities in the 2016/17 racing calendar for the ATA to promote various themes through Morphettville race days. Current considerations include the Australian Trainers’ Trust, Celebrating our Women Trainers and recognising “50 Years of Operation” of the ATA. The SAJC are very comfortable to use race events for positive promotion of the sport, and accordingly, have committed to providing calendar options for our selection shortly.
Track fees were also a topic of discussion. Our SA branch has been active in negotiations with the SAJC, as the latter look to move away from the current “starter activated” funding model. SAJC recognise the need for a better balanced model to help fund their track maintenance needs, and which in particular, operates equitably to capture all trainers who utilise facilities at Morphettville, and not simply those who have race starters. Full details of the new model, which the ATA completely endorses, has been sent to all 77 trainers who venture daily to Morphettville with their 280+ horses to use the training facilities.
We spent the latter part of the day with Jim Watters (CEO) and Nick Redin (COO) from Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA). It is a busy period for TRSA as they prepare for the new racing season ahead, and grapple with key matters including;
> Negotiations continue with stakeholders to finalise funding arrangements which will allow the long awaited Murray Bridge racetrack at Gifford Hill to be completed. In advance of this, current funding will allow the infrastructure to be completed to a point where race trials can hopefully be accommodated prior to year end.
> TRSA are working closely with Government to fully understand and analyse the impact the recently introduced Wagering Consumption Tax will have on revenues for South Australia.
> The proposed Dual Licence arrangement i.e.: concurrent jockey and trainer, designed to support the transition process for jockeys, is currently under consideration. Already adopted in Victoria, it is likely that SA will follow suit and adopt same for the new racing season.
> Lastly, negotiations will shortly commence in earnest with the media companies, as the contract to manage and show the SA thoroughbred vision rights falls due for renewal.
On a very positive finishing note, there is welcome news for trainers, owners and jockeys in South Australia, with TRSA announcing an increase to the prizemoney pool of $1.7 million (which builds on the $3.8 million increase provided in 2015/16).
Provincial racing will be the major winner, with Thursday, Friday and Sunday race prizemoney lifted from $11,000 to $15,000, and maiden races jumping from $10,000 to $12,000. Prize money for all current Metropolitan $40,000 races will increase to $42,000. All changes will come into effect on 1 August 2016.
We will update members again on further developments that come to light as a result of our various meetings.
In the meantime, should you wish to raise any issues or provide feedback in writing, please do so by CLICKING HERE
Alternatively, contact the office on (03) 9372-1688 should any one wish to discuss matters with myself.
Chief Executive Officer