Racing Victoria (RV) and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) today announced a new Country Club Track Management Support Plan to assist clubs in the preparation and delivery of optimum racing surfaces.
The plan, which will be progressively rolled out across the state's 50 country racetracks, is built around the following two initiatives:
> Regional Track Manager Program
> Track Management Advisory Panel
The Regional Track Manager Program will provide a framework for the formal sign off of each country racetrack the day before a scheduled meeting and enhance the level of support afforded country clubs in the preparation of their tracks.
The Track Management Advisory Panel will comprise Victoria's four metropolitan track managers, Mick Goodie, Jason Kerr, Tim Bailey and Marty Synan, along with RV Manager - Infrastructure Planning, Charlie Stebbing, and a yet-to-be-appointed country track manager.
The Advisory Panel, who will meet quarterly, will review the state's current Track Management Guidelines, provide advice on track management issues through a mentor program and assist in building succession and development plans for country and metropolitan track staff.
“The work of our track managers and their staff is critical to the success of the industry and we recognise that it is a challenging role given weather impacts, resourcing and the pressure to perform,” RV Chief Operating Officer, Bernard Saundry, said.
“The new Country Club Track Management Support Plan is designed to do just that, support country clubs in the preparation of their tracks through the delivery of the Regional Track Manager Program, whilst utilising the experience of the Track Management Advisory Panel.”
Under the plan, a regional track manager will be appointed from existing club resources to work with other clubs, hosting 25 meetings or less, in their region.
The regional track manager, who will also work closely with the RV steward in charge of the region, will oversee an inspection of the track the day prior to each meeting and sign off on whether it is suitable for racing the following day.
They will then assist the club staff to undertake penotrometer and track readings on raceday and confirm with the steward in charge of the meeting that track is ready for racing.
“Racing Victoria and CRV will work with clubs and track managers to identify the track managers that can play this important leadership role for the industry, whilst still remaining a track manager for their own club,” Saundry said.
“Racing Victoria will fund the program which is designed to support track managers, particularly new and inexperienced ones, in the preparation of their racing surface and assist in minimising the number of meeting abandonments across the state.”
Saundry said the Track Management Advisory Panel would play a pivotal role in educating and mentoring country track managers and their staff.
“Our metropolitan track managers have a wealth of experience and we are eager for them to assist in mentoring and developing the skills of track managers statewide and in process help in building succession plans for the industry,” Saundry said.
“The Advisory Panel will be charged with creating a talent identification and exchange program that will facilitate staff swaps and secondments between country and metropolitan tracks to further assist in building skills and fostering talent.”
CRV Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman, said the program would be an important initiative for the industry moving forward and that CRV was committed to making it a success.
“CRV supports this program as it will greatly assist country race clubs and their track managers and we are committed to working with RV and the country clubs to develop and implement regional solutions,” Whiteman said.
“CRV is of the view that such a program will also assist many track managers with improved opportunities for their career paths in the industry.
“The role of the track manager is often a difficult task and at times somewhat a thankless one. It is important that the industry support these vital managers as much as possible so that they obtain further knowledge and experience where necessary.”