Vic trainers chase increased prize money

Victorian racehorse trainers want a level playing field with their NSW counterparts, fearing they will lose owners across the border unless there is an increase in prize money.

On October 1, races in the Sydney metropolitan area were increased to $100,000 which is $20,000 more than the average Saturday race in Melbourne.

Robbie Griffiths, president of the Victorian arm of the Australian Trainers’ Association has asked Racing Victoria to look at its finances to see whether extra money can be found.

He said the ATA, along with the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association, the Victorian Jockeys’ Association and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria wanted prize money increases to stop the potential loss of horses to NSW.

“We’re all singing the same song and we want equal prize money with Sydney so there’s no point of difference where owners and buyers could want to head to Sydney,” Griffiths told RSN927.

Griffiths said the ATA had outlined its concerns at a meeting with RV on October 4.

“There’s a lot of breeders in Sydney, especially around the Hunter Valley, and when it comes time to allocate their yearlings that they retain there could be a deciding factor which way they go,” Griffiths said.

“Whether that eventuates, we’re not sure, but we don’t want to take that risk.

“We think the ownership group should be choosing a trainer on choice, not letting prize money determine which direction they head.”

Griffiths said leading trainers Mick Price and Troy Corstens had lost business interstate as a result of the prize money difference.

“We want to know an answer ASAP because the yearling sales are just around the corner,” Griffiths said.

“Horses might kick off their careers at the age of two or three but the purchasing is done from the first week of January onwards.

“Everyone needs to know what they’re doing so they can move forward with some sort of certainty.”

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