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Racehorse owners have pushed back on a proposed Spring Carnival reshuffle and urged the Melbourne Racing Club to instead focus on bringing back full prizemoney – and crowds.

Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association chairman Jonathan Munz wants Racing Victoria to reject Melbourne Racing Club’s Spring Carnival reshuffle and instead work towards reinstating prizemoney and bringing crowds back at the races.

It comes as interstate racing jurisdictions consider opening the gates as early as Saturday.

Racing NSW kingpin Peter V’landys also wants prizemoney back to pre-pandemic levels by July 1.

Prize-money was reduced by 10 per cent for country meetings and 20 per cent for city meetings from April 6 to create a COVID-19 pandemic war chest to support industry participants in the event of a total and forced shutdown.

Munz expects RV to come to the party on the prizemoney and crowds, with owners among the first to be let back through the turnstiles.

“The general view, throughout the industry, is that we should be getting back to normality as soon as we can,” Munz said.

“We should be matching the NSW resolution to return prizemoney to normal from July 1.

“It’s a no-brainer and I’d be reasonably confident Racing Victoria would do that.”

In relation to crowds and social distancing, Racing Victoria is beholden to the State Government, which dictates the number of people allowed at indoor/outdoor gatherings.
Speaking on Melbourne radio on Tuesday, V’landys said owners are the “first people we should have back”.

“We’re meeting with government about crowds returning on July 1 but we’re looking at bringing back owners as early as next week,” V’landys told RSN.

“The owners are the lifeblood of our industry … they can stay and watch their horse race and then go.

“We’ll get the owners back and then the members and then the public.”

TROA and the Australia Trainers Association (ATA) will lodge paperwork today railing against the MRC’s wish to run the Caulfield Cup on November 28.

Champion trainers Chris Waller and Gai Waterhouse yesterday aired concerns about meddling with the racing calendar, as have leading Victorian trainers David Hayes and Ciaron Maher.

“The Caulfield Guineas is a nice lead in to the Cox Plate,” Maher, who would stomach the Caulfield Cup change this year, if necessary, said.

“I think the three year-olds are a big part of the Cox Plate so they need to give that some serious consideration otherwise they might do more harm than good.”

Source Gilbert Gardiner, Herald Sun