We welcome the new financial year with another likely dry day and wet track at HQ.
On March 31st, 2015, a new racing body will be formed. To be called Racing Australia it is meant to streamline the ‘industry’s key assets’.
These assets include the Australian Racing Board (ARB), Racing Information Services Australia (RISA) and the Australian Stud Book (ASB). The formation of this singular body is supported by all Principle Racing Authorities.
The reasoning behind the merger is that the Racing Australia consolidation should ‘lead to greater efficiencies’. Racing Australia supporters suggest a key focus is to strengthen integrity oversight.
All this sounds good, except their press release also says “While the PRAs (Principle Racing Authorities) continue their current role of policy implementation and regulation.”
And here I was getting excited because I thought, “At last, one single body could be formed to oversee racing into this new century. To right the wrongs; to leap over tall buildings.”
Is that right? Did I read that each state will ‘continue their own policy implementation and regulation’? I thought that was half (most of) the problem.
The Australian racing industry has forged many new positive paths in the last two years. The recent progress compared to the previous 50 years (since the introduction of the TAB), has been spectacular.
New initiatives like ‘The Championships’; a pending Seven Network/TVN deal for regular free-to-air broadcasting and the validation of the copyright income distribution throughout the trade are all very positive and that is to name only a few changes. At long last, the industry has begun to fight back against a turning tide in trying to recover lost ground caused by very average business management.
The various racing boards usually have a ‘punters representative’ but I am of the opinion that Racing-Roarers should do a little barking and become a real punter’s advocate.
Many issues discussed over the last year on The Roar have deep relevance, and there is no doubt that we were in tune with the administrators as many things discussed here were addressed by them, particularly during the autumn.
In short it’s time for a constructive spleen-vent. In the next six months policies will be put in place that will affect us (the punters) for decades. If they get it wrong there might not be a coming back.
There are questions like…
What should the new Racing Australia have control over? How should internationalisation (visiting horses) of our sport be handled? What regulations should be imposed on the wagering companies? What other state-racing business should be put under the one Racing Australia umbrella (e.g. marketing policy)? How should our racing be promoted internationally? How should our racing be promoted locally? Do we need punters education? How do get younger people interested in racing? What would make a punter go to a run-of-the-mill race meeting?
Right now we have a chance to be heard. Problems can always be identified but providing solutions is also required. Discussions on The Roar provide many viewpoints and that is always a good starting-point to a solution.
I have a few hobby horses that I’ll discuss over the next few weeks but maybe use this thread to canvas issues among all racing-Roarers.
On another matter – Last Saturday, Wise Dan started in the $1 million Shadwell Mile (Keenland) against a top field. The early pace was slow and after missing the kick he settled third-last, but from the turn he swung wide coming down the centre to win by an easy length. There he was again, as usual… teasing his opponents.
We need this horse at the Championships.