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Owners Slam VRC Prizemoney Plans
23rd May 2012
Racing And Sports - Tuesday, 22 May 2012
The Victorian Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association has slammed plans by the Victoria Racing Club to reduce prizemoney for 30 feature races at Flemington next season.
The VRC has flagged plans to cut more than $1 million from the prizemoney offered for 30 Group and Listed races at Flemington next season.
VTROA chairman Jonathan Munz said his association is highly critical of the VRC plan, citing that it has been initiated without consulting owners, trainers and jockeys and with little publicity:
"If the VRC cuts prizemoney for Group and Listed races it will be a major backwards step for the VRC and for racing in this state," Munz said.
"It sends the wrong message and undermines all the efforts made to improve and promote racing.
"It directly undermines racing participants such as owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders and the thousands of people directly and indirectly employed in the industry.
"These sorts of attitudes and actions feed into a slippery slide of reduced participation, reduced betting turnover and reduced industry revenue.
"We can see what happens when prizemoney levels are cut or fall behind with the depressed industries in both South Australia and New Zealand being examples.
"The industry should not be paying for the VRC failure to properly manage its overhead structure which is widely regarded as containing way too much unnecessary fat and waste.
"To give the VRC credit, it is now starting to belatedly address these issues but it needs to be a bit more realistic about cutting unnecessary costs and looking at revenue enhancements.
"I believe that this can be done without whacking owners, trainers and jockeys and without increasing fees for VRC members.
"Hopefully the new CEO will understand this."