The most fascinating question at the moment is where is the money going? In the 2010 RNSW Strategic Plan there were some great ideas and there were wonderful plans for training centres of excellence and $70 million that was to be spent – the implication being state wide, not just on a (not so) grandstand at Randwick – to improve facilities. Five years later, especially in the country, “Centres of Excellence” are a non-existent dream that have been revisited in the 2014 Strategic Plan, with $3 million missing from the original budget and no dates mentioned for when any work will start. The wonderful current budget is said to put aside $5 million for the state wide “Ifrastructure Investment Program” while providing more than three times that for “The Championships”. The $8 million Quarantine facility – to help ensure at least some the largesse of The Championships heads overseas – should reassure NSW trainers battling dangerous facilities that RNSW has their and their owners interests at heart. Can’t imagine why there are less and less runners and horses being bred when the lessening of costs to owners and improving training facilities, clearly identified as already a problem in 2010, has not been addressed 5 years later.
It’s simple. The money is going on prizemoney. All of it. And as Kenny Callander said in 2011, “Messara is an advocate of getting prizemoney as high as possible … I feel pushing prizemoney endlessly upwards only forces up the prices of yearlings and stallions fees, something which of course benefits Messara.”
The Championships does not pay its way – do you think the TAB turnover results in $10m returned back to Racing NSW or the Govt?
But more than that, where is the systematic examination of how much money a race returns to stakeholders? That is, what is the turnover, what does tab make, what does RNSW make, what does Govt get, versus how much prize money is offered. I think you’ll find there are anomalies everywhere. Some races will have prize money far in excess of what is warranted based on strictly commercial decisions, some will have less. I have no confidence that RNSW has really done any data mining whatsoever. The data must all be available, the Tab has to pay out prizemoney so you should be able to get it. What are the top 100 races that contributed funds to the industry? What were the 100 lowest? Publish a list and compare it to the prize money on offer. Make it public and transparent.
The RNSW strategic plan is all “gut feel” supplemented by 2 bit analysis to give it a veneer of professionalism. The “50,000” participants deserve better.