Industry can reflect on a stellar season, with more to come
Success … in Sydney it was Chris Waller (pictured), who is being talked about as the Tommy Smith of his era. Photo: Simon Alekna
Correct weight is just about to be called on another racing season and, yes, there was many a protest. The appeal in regard to racefields legislation went to the High Court and Racing NSW received a thumping endorsement of its case win.
It was the most crucial and much anticipated outcome of the season. At stake was the financial well-being of the sport.
And Racing NSW was in for the long haul, while states such as Victoria and Queensland baled out after choosing a gross-profit model. It led to Racing Victoria returning money to one bookie who had a losing month. How good was that?
Now it is gazetted in the highest court of the land. Wagering operators have to pay Racing NSW 1.5 per cent of turnover. You put on the show, and you deserve to demand a fee. You cannot fill up at the bowser and walk into the service station operator and say you’re paying 50 cents a litre. The High Court said so.
Most betting houses are only too willing to pay their way to ensure racing has an income stream. Without one, industry players are vying for ribbons and cups.
Punters have been paying inflated prices for the TAB service since it was founded. But these betting goliaths remain the racing industry’s largest financial contributors.
And let’s not forget how much they hand to the various state and territory governments. Money used, you’d like to think so, for hospitals, roads, schools and a whole lot more.
Punters might be leaving it in the bin, they might be winning, but they can draw comfort knowing they are helping out the community. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
So the High Court ruling was the biggie. Make no mistake about that. Racing NSW then upped prizemoney levels statewide. Connections of interstate runners are zeroing in on the best stakes in the country.
Racing had Black Caviar, the French won another Melbourne Cup, via Dunaden. Gai Waterhouse has More Joyous and her juvenile triple crown winner, the unbeaten Pierro. You have an unbeaten filly, an untapped whirlwind, named Atlantic Jewel, which went back to the paddock having towelled up the older horses at the Sydney autumn carnival.
Just a few thoroughbreds to look forward to and a whole heap more as the spring carnival descends. On the human front, the Black Caviar team, trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolen, won premierships in Melbourne for a third straight year.
In Sydney it was Chris Waller, who is being talked about as the Tommy Smith of his era. A decade after the Kiwi arrived here, he defended his Sydney premiership title.
Not only did Waller defend it but he bettered his mark of 117 winners last season, and tomorrow’s Kembla Grange, a metro meeting, could add to the final tally.
And Waller’s team is making headlines. Many a punter is concerned they are being dudded because his unfancied runners are knocking off his favourites in races. Really? Waller isn’t one for strike rates. He has a thoroughbred army numbering 110 at Rosehill season-round. He knows owners are paying the bills. He knows they want a return.
If the horses are fit and there is a suitable race, he will start them. He’ll back them up week to week. You don’t earn prizemoney standing in a box.
Waller isn’t worried about betting markets. If the favourite won every race there would be no racing.