Horsley Park the key as Racing NSW reveals blueprint for future

By Craig Young
July 28, 2004

Racing NSW is set to pin its faith in the little-used Olympic equestrian centre at Horsley Park in western Sydney to become its next cash cow.

“In my hospitality experience, they’re some of the best facilities I’ve ever seen, at Horsley Park,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys said yesterday as he launched the industry’s strategic plan.

“If we couldn’t generate $5 million to $20 million in additional revenue out of 1000 acres of land I’ll give the game away.” (if only!)

The new revenue will be needed, for the strategic plan was brutally honest in summing up the state of NSW racing, with V’Landys declaring there was a “reduction in pretty well every sector”.

Participation rates in ownership and horse numbers had “declined dramatically”, while betting turnover had “dropped dramatically” and punters have “dropped off midweek [city] racing”.

Racing NSW’s new vision was described as a “dynamic document” and a “starting point”, although V’Landys declared: “It’s not going to cure all the ills.”

V’Landys is banking on securing Horsley Park and neighbouring parkland, a total of some 576 hectares, from the NSW Government on a 100-year “peppercorn lease”.

It would become racing’s “education facility and training complex” with V’Landys adding: “It will be commercially viable.”

Horsley Park would house a jockeys’ academy, while courses conducted there would help educate the next generation of stewards, trainers, racing administrators, etc.

V’Landys said there was “great demand for education facilities from Asia”, while it would “attract considerable international investment”.

Trainers based at Horsley Park would have fees subsidised for “one or two years”, while V’Landys said it would “provide an opportunity to attract new, young blood into the industry”.

Other points of note in the strategic plan included:

A much talked about $200 statewide starters’ bonus;

Racing NSW creating an owners’ department;

Encouraging clubs and pubs to syndicate racehorses for patrons;

Setting minimum prizemoney standards for “bread and butter” races;

Trainers receiving a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in workers’ compensation fees;

Introducing “Super Sunday” country racing;

Encouraging reinvestment in the industry using a voucher scheme via the BOBS set-up;

Establishing a policy for minimum track standards for all racecourses in NSW;

Working to arrest the decline in TAB betting.

And in 2010…



An additional $36 million in prizemoney will be paid for non-feature

races per annum from July 2012.

• Significant across the board growth in returns to owners including increases in prizemoney with the following increases occurring by July 2012.

Metropolitan Saturday races $70,000 to $100,000

Metropolitan Midweek races $27,000 to $ 35,000

Provincial races $16,000 to $ 25,000

Country TAB Meeting races $ 9,000 to $ 15,000


In total, prizemoney paid for Group and Listed races will increase by $13.1 million per annum by 2012.

• Large prizemoney increases for Group and Listed races including;

Australian Derby $1,300,000 to $2,000,000 (actually 1.5m)

Australian Oaks $ 350,000 to $1,000,000 (actually $550k)

T J Smith Stakes $ 350,000 to $1,000,000 (was for Black Caviar)

All-Aged Stakes $ 300,000 to $1,000,000 ($400k for All Too Hard)

Queen Elizabeth Stakes $ 350,000 to $ 750,000

Golden Slipper $3,500,000 to $4,000,000

The BMW $2,250,000 to $2,500,000

Darby Munro Stakes $ 100,000 to $ 400,000

• Prizemoney increases will be accompanied by a policy of advertising the value of races on a total return to owner basis (referred to as “Returns to Owners”) and look at introducing a system of paying prizemoney for all horses which fill the first 10 places in a race.



• Pursuing opportunities to obtain revenue from new customers by broadcasting and selling NSW racing and wagering internationally and in particular to countries in the Asian Region.

Also important is co-mingling the NSW totalizator pool with the pool in the international jurisdiction to which NSW races are telecast. Co-mingling effectively enables overseas customers wagering on NSW racing to link into the NSW totalizator pool on bets placed through their own totalizator. This immediately creates liquidity by increasing pool sizes to encourage investments in both host and recipient countries. The sale of Australian racing internationally has previously failed due to the pools being too small in the international jurisdiction where the races were telecast. Also the takeout rates in those international jurisdictions were significantly higher than the rates in Australia, meaning punters in those countries received poorer dividends.

By merging the pools it would be essential that the NSW takeout rate on all bets be applied.

RACING NSW REWARDS CLUB – Buying a horse based on a points system???


• The Racing NSW Rewards Club will be launched later this month. The program will be used throughout the racing economy and will be based on similar successful loyalty schemes currently operating in the wider economy. One of the most important objectives of the program is to take advantage of the $2.5 billion in unused points presently sitting in the various rewards programs operating throughout Australia. In addition a further $800 million per annum is added to unused points.

A part of the unused points from other reward programs can now be harnessed by the racing industry which will make it possible for someone to potentially purchase a horse and have it trained, using only their reward points and without parting with cash.

Reward Club members will also be able to earn and redeem points by dealing with the commercial partners in the scheme such as trainers, studs and Inglis.



• Supporting Tabcorp with its application to introduce the computer generated horse racing game “Trackside” into its NSW wagering outlets. It is estimated that Trackside will generate a return of $3 million for the thoroughbred racing industry in the first year of operation.

(So we can give it back to Tabcorp because we haven’t got money to build a grandstand?)


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  1. Dale Jeffs says:

    I love the racing bitch, at least someone tries to keep vlandys honest (no hope of that though)

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Maxwell Webster says:

    I Did predict Mr V. would fall on his sword after the Court “Victory “. I think I can claim he hasn’t delivered and is running out of Oxygen . Victoria is now light years ahead of the rest so that is the place to bet.

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