Racing Victoria (RV) and the Australian Jockey’s Association (AJA) are pleased to announce the commencement of Ride Guide – an innovative digital content initiative where jockeys film and present a preview of their upcoming race rides.
The AJA-led concept has earned the collective support of RV and industry stakeholders following significant consultation and consideration of industry feedback. A three-month trial will be launched to the public this Saturday, 22 April, 2017 and be available on Victorian Saturday metropolitan meetings.
In making today’s announcement, RV Chief Commercial Officer, Jane Ballantyne, said it was a good outcome to see the industry collaboratively arrive at a point at which Ride Guide can now be tested against similar concepts in the ever-competitive sporting media marketplace.
“Racing Victoria is pleased to proceed with the approval of a three-month trial of Ride Guide, which has earned the collective support of industry stakeholders as an innovative concept that can enhance customer engagement,” Ms Ballantyne said.
“We believe that there is now a strong framework in place for the concept to be successfully trialled and be a positive initiative for our sport through the promotion of our jockeys and the valuable raceday insights they can provide.
“We have already seen similar concepts employed by other sporting codes and athletes to increase customer engagement, so I see no reason why Ride Guide will not have a similarly positive impact on racing’s engagement with its customers.”
AJA Chairman, Des O’Keeffe, said this new initiative will help elevate the profile of jockeys and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and insights to racing’s customers.
“We are delighted to proceed with the introduction of Ride Guide and the Association wishes to thank Racing Victoria for their efforts in facilitating a positive outcome for the industry,” Mr O’Keeffe said.
“We see this as a great way for jockeys to provide a unique insight into their rides through an easily consumable format for punters, and a good opportunity for them to impart their racing knowledge and build their own public profile.”
Ms Ballantyne said a number of refinements were made to the original Ride Guide concept which launched last year prior to official industry approval.
Ride Guide was instituted by AJA and the global athlete media company Unscriptd as an exclusive service for Ladbrokes, however this model presented some challenges under the Rules of Racing which preclude jockeys from sharing information for pecuniary interests.
The AJA and Unscriptd worked with RV to refine the concept in consultation with industry stakeholders, including the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association (TROA), and the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, who have offered their support of the three-month trial.
Ride Guide will proceed on the following terms, which provide comfortable satisfaction to RV that the Rules of Racing will not be compromised:
1. Ride Guide content will be available for viewing free-of-charge in the following places:
- a. At ladbrokes.com.au for all visitors – no longer member exclusive content
- b. At Jockeyguide.com – an independent website built to service the trial
- c. It will also be made available to Racing.com for use on their live racing broadcast
2. Unscriptd will also share Ride Guide content with other Wagering Service Providers (WSPs) at the time of publication as a measure to safeguard transparency across the industry. Other WSPs will not be permitted to publish the content, but may use it in helping to frame their markets at the same time as Ladbrokes.
3. Trainers, acting in their own right or as agent for the owner, will have the option to exercise an opt-out clause should they not want their jockey to discuss their upcoming ride(s) on Ride Guide.
4. Jockeys will not receive direct payments for their content. All funds will now flow to an independent fund to be managed by AJA with the proceeds to be shared as follows:
- a. Jockeys - The majority of the fund will be split among the riders based on their standings in a mini-premiership related to their on-track performance;
- b. National Jockeys Trust – Funding contribution to support the jockeys and their families in times of hardship;
- c. Owners Prizemoney – Funding contribution to support future prizemoney initiatives; and
- d. Equine Welfare – Funding contribution to support RV’s equine welfare strategic plan.
Ms Ballantyne said that the success of the trial would determine the continuation of Ride Guide into the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival and beyond.