Time is now for synthetic track as NSW loses $2 million worth of races in winter

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Best in the land: Winx. Photo: James BrickwoodYes, it’s wet in winter. But has it been so wet that more than $2 million worth of races have been lost or repositioned through 18 meetings in less than two months?
Nanjing Night Net

This is the staggering number of races washed away since the official start of winter as NSW racing still goes without an all-weather track.

It is never going to be the surface of choice. Administrators prefer grass, trainers prefer grass, punters prefer grass. That’s agreed.

But how long do participants keep forgoing returns while the state’s worn-down tracks struggle to cope with, at times, only medium levels of rainfall?

It isn’t a cheap exercise, but one synthetic track in the north of the state and one in the south is logical. Base it on Pakenham, where the facilities continue to receive rave reviews. Punters will warm to betting on the races, just as they have in Geelong.

Wagga, Bathurst and Goulburn have all lost two meetings in the past couple of months. Warwick Farm, admittedly already rain-affected but hardly bordering on dangerous territory, capitulated last Tuesday night with a soaking that wasn’t close to biblical proportions, but still enough to scrap the entire card the following day.

Bookmakers were in the foetal position when Sandown was abandoned after one race on the same day and Murray Bridge’s meeting was also canned.

Prize money in NSW is at incredible levels. The tax-parity boost for country racing was like a boss walking in and giving an automatic pay rise to thousands of struggling bush folk. It was much deserved.

But it’s not the magic bullet. And if they can’t race for the prize money when they really need it, what’s the point? Awards to move north

The Australian Racehorse of the Year awards are on the move, as Sydney is set to pinch the gala event off Melbourne, where it has traditionally heralded the start of the southerners’ spring carnival.

Melbourne has long been considered the home for the awards – at which Winx will be crowned the best horse in the land for last season – but a shift north is on the cards this year.

The 2015 extravaganza at the MCG was held just a couple of days before the Caulfield Guineas, but the awards focus will switch to Sydney even though most attention will be on the stallion-making race south of the border.

No date or venue has been announced for the awards, but it is anticipated it will still be held on the Thursday before the Caulfield Guineas and Sydney’s final group 1 of its carnival, the Spring Champion Stakes.

NSW’s country and provincial awards are likely to retain their place the Friday night before the Epsom Handicap on the long weekend. Call to Callender

Racing NSW stewards plan to speak to disqualified media personality Richard Callander this week to clarify his commitments before his ban ends in September.

A new digital radio sports network was trumpeting Callander’s role in a Saturday morning show over the weekend, but the larger-than-life figure wasn’t on the airwaves.

It is understood nothing more than an administrative mix-up was the reason for his 11th-hour withdrawal, not a direction from stewards.

“The principal racing authority, Racing NSW in this case, has the powers to make those directions [about media involvement] but, when the disqualification was issued, it wasn’t made,” chief steward Marc Van Gestel said.

“He’s free to participate in any mainstream media if he wishes to. If he was doing a mainstream sports program where he touched on racing, I don’t think that would be an issue. We might make contact this week to confirm what position he’s in.”

Callander has kept a low profile after being charged for his part in the sale of a racehorse to Hong Kong in which the correct value wasn’t disclosed to the other owners.

But there still seems an appetite for his media expertise, which will only increase once the ban ends.  Prussian Secret probe

It will be a big week at Racing NSW headquarters this week when stewards inquire into the Prussian Secret stomach tubing allegations from the 2013 Tamworth Cup.

Stipes will probe a number of parties, including the horse’s trainer Cody Morgan, on Wednesday.

Morgan and family friend Robert Clement were found guilty last month in Tamworth District Court of race fixing, laws that were introduced in 2012, in a landmark test of the legislation.

The pair will be sentenced at Sydney’s Downing Centre on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Racing NSW inquiry.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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