Canberra Racing CEO Peter Stubbs Expecting Boost From Sydney Carnival
Canberra Racing CEO Peter Stubbs said that the revamped A$18M ($16.7M) Sydney autumn carnival "can be the catalyst to strengthen the capital's premier race day and attract Australia's best runners to Thoroughbred Park," according to Chris Dutton of the CANBERRA TIMES. Racing New South Wales "has overhauled its autumn program" and increased prize money to A$18M. Canberra's top two races -- the Black Opal Stakes and the Canberra Cup -- "are set to benefit as trainers search for quality races for their preparation." Stubbs said Canberra Racing "will keep the Black Opal and Canberra Cup in March unless the Sydney calendar changes in the coming years" (CANBERRA TIMES, 11/13). In Melbourne, Michael Lynch reported Racing Victoria chiefs "will unveil a strategic plan for the short-term future of the industry with a stark warning -- unless the sport embraces major change it could fade to irrelevance." Racing officials "are urging the industry to shrug off any inertia or complacency it might have and be prepared to consider major changes" for the '14-15 season and beyond. These "could include days when there is no racing at all -- with Victoria allowing other states to corner the gambling market during the noon to 5pm period." Victoria "may then program major meetings at night, so it can try to build on track attendances at a time when people are free to go out, and also boost gambling revenues when there is no other racing competition." Night racing "would also offer the opportunity to plug more easily into Asian and European wagering markets, delivering a dividend to the local sector" (THE AGE, 11/14). In Sydney, Chris Roots reported Racing NSW and Equine Veterinarians Australia "met on Wednesday to try to resolve the integrity impasse as the state governing body pushes to license vets." Veterinarians have "unanimously rejected being licensed by Racing NSW," which was due to be introduced on Dec. 1. They believe that "it is not necessary as they are already licensed under the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Act." Vets "are concerned about the conditions of the licence, which could leave them open to a denial of natural justice, compromise their professional obligations and bring a rise in public liability insurance" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/13).