** Kindly supplied by the Western Australian Racing Trainers Association
The refusal of racing authorities to pay West Australian trainers the same percentages of stakemoney as other States and include them in the distribution of incentive schemes has cost trainers in this State millions of dollars, according to a report made to a recent meeting.
Initially Perth Racing, and in later years Racing and Wagering WA, have rejected a case for trainers to be included in the Westspeed scheme while trainers have only been paid 10 per cent of stakemoney to third place. Now the national body, the Australian Trainers’ Association, has joined in supporting West Australian trainers.
The ATA has pointed out that WA trainers are severely disadvantaged in comparison to all other States where trainers receive payments to at least fifth position, while in Victoria there is a payment for up to 10th position. Additionally all other State incentive schemes pay trainers percentages of their prize money, irrespective of the source of funding for the incentive scheme.
Trainers point out that in WA the Westspeed scheme is heavily funded by RWWA with monies that should be going into stakemoney.
A MAJOR ISSUE
With WA jockeys also looking at a similar situation, the “percentages” issue could become a major problem for racing.
Trainers claim they are on the receiving end of the most unfair treatment. They say the cost of training horses in WA is higher that in other States and the returns are lower while owners are reluctant to pay fees recommended by national body. The outlook for trainers is even gloomier with RWWA aiming to recover 20 per cent of the cost of running training centres. The first crunch is likely to come in the New Year with the introduction of track fees for Ascot sand gallops.
The WA Racing Trainers’ Association will continue to operate and as a result a committee of eight persons has been elected.
They are Bruce Hyde, George Daly, Lou Luciani, Trevor Andrews, Gary Nicol, Fred Kersley, Kath Fleming and John Lugg.
The committee will meet at Perth Racing offices on Friday 28 January 28 to elect official positions as well as decide on the frequency of meetings. All meetings will be open to the general membership to attend.
The WARTA annual meeting was advised that membership renewals have been drastically cut as a result of a decision by RWWA not to collect the fees. A further appeal has been made to trainers to renew their membership.
Changes to the WA nomination system introduced to prevent trainers from scratching horses when they drew a bad barrier have not worked, according to members attending the recent annual meeting. They claim the current system prevents trainers from having a “back-up” option and they have asked for a return to the old system.
In another move the association has asked RWWA to form a committee of stewards, trainers, jockeys and owners to assess all racing and training tracks on a monthly basis. This follows a number of complaints that tracks are “too hard” and are causing too many horses to break down.
HI GAINS AWARDS
It’s big race time and WA’s top trainers were at the forefront of most Hi Gains’ awards chosen by racing expert Ernie Manning. They included:
Patience Rewarded: When Hadabeclorka broke down with a serious injury two years ago it was thought the horse would never race again. But the patient treatment of Bunbury trainer Brent Larsson saw the nine-year-old gelding return to Ascot to win a ninth race -- the $750,000 Winterbottom Stakes on November 27. Two weeks later he ran a creditable second in the Scahill Stakes taking his stake earnings to over $850,000.
Godly Success: One of racing’s biggest success stories in recent years has been the Parnham stable’s connection with two young horses – the four-year-old God Has Spoken and his three-year-old full brother Playing God. Both were purchased for stable clients by Neville Parnham at Perth Yearling Sales, the first costing $41,000 and Playing God being knocked down for $27,000. In most of their races the pair have been ridden by brothers Brad and Stephen Parnham. Playing God, ridden by Stephen, won the $500,000 Kingston Town Classic on December 4 taking his stake earnings from nine starts and five wins to $586,000. God Has Spoken, already the winner of $589,000, ran eighth in the Classic.
Consistent “Secret”: The four year old Waratah’s Secret has been one of the State’s most consistent gallopers, winning eight of 14 race starts and earning $460,000 in stakes. His latest success for David Harrison’s stable came on December 11 when he easily accounted for a top-class field in the $125,000 Scahill Stakes. Twice in his career, Waratah’s Secret has suffered a slight form slump and each time Harrison has persevered with the gelding to bring him back to winning form.