AUSTRALIA'S FIRST $10 MILLION RACE DAY TO BE HELD - WAIT FOR IT - AT THE GOLD COAST 

DECEMBER 19, 2014 will be remembered as a ground breaking day for Australian racing after Racing Queensland and Magic Millions announced the country’s first ever $10 million raceday.

The Jeep Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday January 9, 2016 will become Australia’s richest racemeeting and ranked in the world’s top 10, as part of a seven-year partnership (2016-2022) to take the summer program to unprecedented heights with the Magic Millions Racing Queensland Summer Carnival.

Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox recognised the significance of the partnership and the immense support Racing Queensland is delivering to every facet of the thoroughbred industry from breeders, owners and trainers to buyers and vendors at Magic Millions sales.

“The phenomenal support and foresight of Racing Queensland, in concert with Magic Millions, has created the Magic Millions $10 Million raceday. The combined vision is a game-changer for Queensland racing, for the Gold Coast and for the Australian thoroughbred industry as a whole,” Mr Cox said.

“The partnership with Racing Queensland is long-term, which invigorates thoroughbred racing for the current generation of industry stakeholders, as well as creating momentum and motivation for the next generation of Queenslanders and Australians committing to a thoroughbred industry career,” Mr Cox added.

Racing Queensland Chairman Kevin Dixon said the prizemoney boost would set the bar in Australian racing, attracting the best horses and the attention of the racing world.

“This is a monumental day for the Queensland racing industry and the partnership with Magic Millions leaves no doubt as to where we want to take our racing product,” Mr Dixon said.

“Over the past six months we have built a strong platform with base level and feature prizemoney increases and this partnership is the next phase in our vision to take Queensland racing to the world. Today’s announcement is just one part of an overall program to continually improve all three codes of racing in Queensland.”

“As part of the new partnership, the summer program will be reviewed to develop clear pathways for horses to what will essentially be our grand final on Magic Millions Raceday.

“Another clincher will be the addition of wild card entries into four $1 million races on Jeep Magic Millions Raceday, which will be granted to the eligible winners of four selected races during the summer carnival and potentially give four non-Magic Millions horses a chance to race on the day.”

Mr Dixon said as part of the partnership, there would also be a one-off opportunity for older Magic Millions Graduates who were not previously registered for the series to register.

Minister for Racing Steve Dickson said Magic Millions was already a huge contributor to the Gold Coast economy but the new partnership would deliver a significant boost to the state’s racing and tourism industries.

“We want to grow tourism, as one of the four pillars of the economy, and events like the Magic Millions really help put our state on the map.” Mr Dickson said.

“Where else can you watch top quality horses compete for $10 million in stakes just a stone’s throw from some of the world’s most beautiful beaches?”

“The Newman LNP Government made a strong plan to reinvigorate the industry, and it’s clear that it’s working, with today’s news the latest in a string of racing successes, including the recent 30-year wagering deal.

“The industry can continue to look to the future with confidence under a Newman LNP Government.”

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE RACING QUEENSLAND & MAGIC MILLIONS

 

SKY LOSES THE RIGHTS TO BROADCAST NSW AND VICTORIAN RACING FROM THURSDAY

SKY RACING 1, Sky Racing 2 and Sky World will lose their right to broadcast NSW and Victorian thoroughbred horse racing from Thursday, December 18.

TVN, Australia’s premier thoroughbred racing network, will now be the sole broadcaster of all metropolitan, provincial and country race meetings in NSW and Victoria.

Tabcorp, which operates the three Sky Racing channels, has failed to agree on terms to renew its licence with TVN, whose owners, the metropolitan Sydney and Victorian turf clubs, control the broadcasting rights to thoroughbred racing in NSW and Victoria.

“We are deeply disappointed that agreement could not be reached with Tabcorp after two years of protracted negotiation. We are looking for a “fair go” for our sport, in fact we were prepared to take less than what we currently receive today. Sky were simply unwilling to give us fair value for our rights,” Bruce Mann, TVN CEO, said today.

“Tabcorp is an extremely important partner for the racing industry, but they have repeatedly attempted to drive down the value of broadcasting rights for Australia’s two premier thoroughbred racing states – a contradictory position to world-wide media rights trends.

“Their strategy has resulted in the loss of the rights that underpin Tabcorp’s highly profitable and successful media division” Mr Mann said.

Consumers wishing to watch NSW and Victorian racing can do so through several options: TVN Channel 522 on Foxtel, which is available to all Residential Subscribers; live online and all hand- held devices at no charge (normally $5 per week) until the end of January 2015, via Racing Network (www.racingnetwork.com.au), TVN’s joint venture with Telstra, as well as other industry websites.

In addition, the Seven Network will continue to broadcast 25 premium race days per year.

To accommodate the majority of pubs and clubs TVN have received assistance from Foxtel/FOX SPORTS who are supporting the racing industry and will be providing them with TVN to FOX SPORTS commercial venues at no additional charge during this interim period. 

Note: TVN, which broadcasts NSW and Victorian thoroughbred racing, is jointly owned by the Australian Turf Club (ATC), Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Melbourne Racing Club (MRC), Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) and Country Racing Victoria. TVN also holds the media rights to NSW Country and Provincial Racing. 

 

 

QUESTIONS HAVEN'T BEEN SATISFACTORILY ANSWERED IN CHRIS WALLER SWAB CONTROVERSY 

by TERRY BUTTS - SILKS & SADDLES - NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER

CONTROVERSY rages over the positive swab returned by the Chris Waller tried Junoob-winner of this year’s Metropolitan.  

There are still questions that haven’t been satisfactorily answered, including: Why did the inquiry take so long to initiate?

The race was run in early October.

Waller and his $30,000 fine for using the rather common diuretic Lasix has caused a furore in racing blogs around the country by writers and readers. And very few of them are favourable or sympathetic to the trainer.

“The perception that Australian horse racing is rife with hypocrisy and double standards – a world where appearing to do the right thing is more important than actually doing the right thing,” wrote Costa Rolfe on Punters.com.

“This case has done little to rattle the foundations of that perception,’’ he added.

“Indeed, the $30,000 fine handed out to Chris Waller would appear only to have buttressed that belief.’’

He went on: “Waller – who escaped penalty in 2013 after four of his horses were deemed to have ingested the prohibited substance Ibuprofen – reigns supreme as the imperious King of Sydney racing.

“And the prospect of a Chris Waller-less Sydney scene, even if only for a short spell, would not be one that appeals to those that matter.

“Heaven help the next bush trainer – or even lower-tier city trainer – however, that returns a positive sample. The example made of them will be swift and merciless, so allowing authorities to get closer to achieving their annual quota of ‘malignant undesirables’ thwarted, Rolfe claimed.

‘HOW CAN A TRAINER HAVE A MASKING AGENT LIKE LASIX IN HIS STABLE’?

AND the comments from readers ranged from “How can he have Lasix in his stable in the first place? to “Everyone knows Lasix is a good masking agent and has been for years.”

Another questioned the actual amount administered to the horse on Metropolitan race day.

But the big question is the fact that the horse was treated on race day.It is an absolute no-no.

Trainers have been severely punished for administering a harmless salt drench or drip within the 24 hour curfew.

Australian Rule of Racing AR.178E. (1) reads: “no person without the permission of the stewards may administer or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race”.

The rule carries a minimum six month disqualification but  Racing NSW Chief Stipe Ray Murrihy  said the rule isn’t in place to ‘punish accidents’.

“It's not a rule that's there directed at a stablehand who makes an error, it's directed squarely at someone that's trying to drench a horse or administer supplements to improve a horse's performance,” he said.

"This was an accidental one. Chris Waller didn't order the administration of Lasix nor did he cause it to happen.”

Question then is: Who did?

I suggest every trainer gets a copy of Murrihy’s ruling on this matter – and keeps it in a safe place – especially this line: “The race day administration rule is there for someone that says ‘go and do this . You have to show intent to fall foul of that rule.”

Does that mean if someone jumps a stable fence and ‘gets at’a horse the trainer is not responsible?

When did that rule change?

I recall former Chief Stipe in North Queensland, Alan Cooper, saying he never, in all his time, conducted a stable search.

He saw no benefit.

But if a trainer (any trainer that is) turned up at the races with a horse that was positive to a banned substance it was an automatic three months disqualification – no matter what the circumstances.

Waller, by the way, said he wouldn't be lodging an appeal.


 
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'SILKS AND SADDLES' with TERRY BUTTS 

SILKS & SADDLES is a popular weekly column written by respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS that we run courtesy of one of Australia’s leading rural newspapers, the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER. Butts is an old-style racing journalist who shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners. He resents the 'suck-up and survive' mentality of some of the new breed of racing journalists in the print and broadcast media. 

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