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Racehorse owners have thrown their support behind Racing Victoria’s move to reduce costs and prizemoney as the industry braces for a potential worst-case scenario due to the coronavirus.

Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Association (TROA) chairman Jonathan Munz said on Tuesday that the upcoming cuts of as much as 20 per cent of metropolitan prizemoney for the remainder of the season, while regrettable, are understandable as insurance to provide support to owners, trainers and other industry participants in the event that racing is shut down for a few months or more.

"This is a one-off event that no-one expected and everyone in the industry needs to work together," Munz said on Tuesday.

"Prize money is the lifeblood of the industry and drives investment , employment and turnover. However, TROA supports Racing Victoria in taking this extraordinary action, on the basis that it is intended to be temporary and that the extra savings are to go into an Industry Fund to support owners, trainers and other industry participants in the event of a forced shutdown of racing.

"Those funds are not required while racing continues and wagering levels are intact at current levels, but for the worst-case contingency of a forced racing industry closure.

"In that case, RVL will have reserve funds in the event that government assistance is insufficient. If the virus situation resolves and the funds are not required, then we would want the deducted prizemoney returned to owners.

“Racing employs more people than the car industry did and without government subsidies.

"It generates billions of dollars in tax revenue which governments will need even more now.

"As a sport, it can operate well in the current environment with stringent new social distancing and hygiene protocols and as a no spectator made for TV product.

"It is therefore low risk in terms of the virus and has huge community benefits and we need to continue to keep the industry going," Munz said.

Munz also stated that any future assistance needed to be sensibly targeted to those that needed it.


Included in RV’s cost-cutting measures are a 20 per cent reduction in prizemoney for metropolitan racing, a 10 per cent reduction in country racing with cuts also to various bonus schemes.

Also, RV announced that 40 per cent of its staff would be stood down or required to work reduced hours will RV board members agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut and executives, a 20 per cent pay cut.

RV chairman Brian Kruger said on Tuesday that plans were being made for possible future events to help out struggling owners, but he said that while racing continues, he expected owners and trainers could work closely together to find a solution if an owner was struggling to make payments.

"While we are still racing and prizemoney is still being paid, I guess we’d have the expectation that the majority of owners hopefully would still be paying bills," Kruger told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse.

"I don’t want to look through rose-coloured glasses with that comment and I understand that there are plenty of people out there that own horses that have found themselves out of a job and that will make paying their bills more difficult.

"But I think certainly in this period while we are still racing that matter hopefully can be dealt with between trainers and owners.

"I understand there are situations where that is impossible and Racing Victoria will do its best to assist where we can.

"If we stop racing, clearly owners still have obligations to pay bills, although I recognize many owners will be struggling with generally what’s going on.

"At the moment, we are working very hard on a package that will help decrease the burden on our owners and therefore be of assistance to our trainers as well.

"It’s too early to go into specifics on that but it is something where we are aiming to be in a position to announce if we get to a point where we stop racing."


Following is a summary of the new minimum prizemoney levels for Victorian races from 6 April 2020 until otherwise advised:

Metropolitan - Minimum Prizemoney Per Race

Current Minimums

Reduced Minimums

as at 6 April 2020


















Country - Minimum Prizemoney Per Race

Current Minimums

Reduced Minimums

as at 6 April 2020