Victorian racehorse Owners and Trainers have strongly condemned the delay by Racing Victoria(RVL) in matching recent prizemoney increases in NSW, where prizemoney for standard Saturday races was raised to $100,000 per race and to $30,000 for standard races at Provincial tracks.
Victorian Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association(TROA) Chairman Jonathan Munz commented as follows:
“Victorian Racing cannot afford to fall behind. It is clear that when prizemoney falls behind, the whole racing Industry suffers with lower owner participation, economic activity, field sizes and wagering turnover. Just look at New Zealand as a textbook example of what not to do and you can see the effect of lower prizemoney on other Australian states. The extra amount required to match the NSW prizemoney increase is approximately $10 million per year - given that RVL has around $70 Million in the bank, the Victorian Industry can afford that extra amount.
We have a concern that a number of RVL employees just “don’t get it” in relation to the need to grow the Industry by increasing prizemoney for Industry participants. In 2015 the RVL Board to its credit, announced what was a long overdue prizemoney increase. Unfortunately, some at RVL still seem more focussed on building bureaucratic empires than cutting expenses, getting out of the way and allowing the Industry to thrive. We don’t need to pay outside consultants to understand the essential link between prizemoney and the economic health of the Industry. It is self-evident to anyone with commercial sense. The RVL Board has done a good job improving the Industry’s financial position and in delivering the previous prizemoney increases and needs to hold the course”
Andrew Nicholl, CEO of the Australian Trainers Association(ATA) said the following:
“The prizemoney increase to match NSW increases needs to be announced by RVL before Christmas. This Industry runs on confidence and with the Magic Millions yearling sale in early January and further yearling sales just after, we don’t want Victorian trainers to be at a disadvantage in getting horses. RVL has no CEO and an Acting Chairman and it is essential that the Victorian Racing Industry sends out the clear message to existing and potential Industry participants that we are open for business. By all means undertake a study as to which programming yields the best wagering turnover (perhaps start by asking Tabcorp and the Corporate bookmakers), but that should not delay a confidence boosting and essential prizemoney announcement.”