** Kindly supplied by the Western Australian Racing Trainers Association
Owners and trainers have pressed for increased expenditure on racing infrastructure for city and provincial clubs, with the money to be sourced from the Government’s annual $60 million TAB dividend, a set percentage of annual TAB turnover and royalties for regions funding.
Addressing the Joint Standing Committee on the Review of the Racing and Wagering WA Acts, representatives from both associations pointed to training facilities and aging infrastructure as in need of urgent attention. Other points stressed included:
> The need for an overall plan from RWWA for racing throughout WA, not an ad-hoc situation of club by club action.
> Ascot precinct to be retained and upgraded as the major city training facility with Bunbury to be deemed the major provincial training centre.
> Opposition to privatisation of the TAB.
> Concern over increased costs, including rising insurance premiums.
Questions were also raised on the effects of betting agencies and possible illegal betting activities on WA TAB turnover. In NSW it has been estimated that in Sydney alone $10 million is wagered through illegal agencies every Saturday.
Until he commenced an apprenticeship with Bob McPherson just over a year ago Rayce Nielsen had never been on a horse.
Described by apprentice Riding Master Laurie Millington as a “mature boy” Nielsen has impressed with his dedication and willingness to learn. He recently lost his four kilogram allowance with a winning treble at the Pingelly Cup meeting on March 13 aboard Aerial Act, Blazing Icon and Radio Pleasure. The treble followed his first win on a grass track aboard Pure Sparkla at Esperance on February 27 bringing his riding record to seven country and one provincial win.
Ned Coldbeck comes from an equestrian background, but was initially refused an apprenticeship when he was considered to be a bit too heavy. However, the youngster shed a few kilos and came back at 53 kg to begin his indentures under trainer Steve Rowe.
After taking part in his compulsory trial rides, Coldbeck began his riding career with a third aboard Kwab at Pinjarra on January 31.
He opened his winning account at Esperance on February 27 with a win over 1200m aboard Arcade Attraction, his three rides that day producing the win and two placings. Coldbeck, who has had only six provincial and 11 country rides to date, is described by Millington as a promising young rider who will probably always be a bit on the heavy side.
Both Nielsen and Coldbeck have been awarded $200 Apprentice Encouragement Awards jointly sponsored by the Australian Trainers’ Association and WA Racing Trainers’ Association.
HI GAINS AWARDS
Several first-up winners were among training efforts acknowledged by racing journalist Ernie Manning in selecting recent winners of Hi Gains Awards:
LUCKY CHANGE: Karnup trainer Graeme Ballantyne’s luck appeared to change after he won a race Ascot with the nine-year-old Changing Lanes on January 23. It was shortly after that he was provided with a couple of horses from leading owner Bob Peters and was immediately successful with Broadway Belle and more recently in the Challenge Stakes with Morant.
PERFECTION: Trevor Andrews showed excellent timing to take Time To Climb to win the $250,000 Magic Millions Classic on January 30. Time to Climb won his first outing on October 9 and then was spelled before running in one lead-up race before the Classic which he also won to give him three wins from three starts.
FIRST-UP WIN: Brent Larsson has had to overcome a lot of problems with his stable star Hadabeclorka which was aimed at the Perth Cup last year. The horse was unplaced in the 2400m cup, but showed great speed to win first-up in the $120,000 Cyril Flower Stakes over 1200m at Ascot on February 6.
STRIKE RATE: David Harrison has one of the best strike rates in WA and February 13 saw him add to that record when Sir Hallowell carried 58 kg to win first-up at Ascot. The horse has since raced in Sydney where it ran a credible first-up fourth. Harrison’s move to a private complex at Serpentine last season has marked his rise up the training ranks.
COUNTRY MENTOR: Trainer Graeme Hammarquist is having a great season at Geraldton where he is the leading trainer, so it was no surprise when he took off one of the prizes of provincial racing with Glory Hunter in the $80,000 Pinjarra Classic on February 21. Glory Hunter’s return to form followed an unsuccessful stint in Melbourne for the David Hayes stable.
SIMPLY SIGLEY: Simply Adorable had only one win from 33 starts before he took out the $100,000 Pinjarra Cup on February 28 to give former jockey Vaughn Sigley his biggest success as a trainer. Sigley, who trains a small team at Lark Hill, placed his confidence in one of the nation’s most senior jockeys in Danny Miller to bring the best out of Simply Adorable and Miller caught others napping as he took the horse to a winning break.