23 July meeting decision and Elwick track redevelopment update
The decision to abandon the thoroughbred meeting at Elwick on Sunday 23 July generated some comment on our social media platforms and attracted traditional media interest.
While the decision to abandon the meeting was obviously a disappointing one, it also confirmed the urgent need to upgrade the Hobart track.
As we have stated previously, Tasracing is committed to consulting industry about the proposed upgrade.
Tasracing recently hosted a “town hall” meeting of 44 trainers, owners and jockeys at Elwick during which we walked the inside track and gathered important industry comments and feedback.
While there is overwhelming support to replace the main track, some concern was expressed about the potential loss of thoroughbred racing in southern Tasmanian while the track was redeveloped.
With a view to minimising the impact on southern-based trainers, the possibility of rectification works for the inside track was discussed.
Tasracing will examine the cost implications of this work and consult with industry prior to any final decision being taken.
Harness Racing Australia whip decision
Harness Racing Australia’s decision to ban the use of whips in racing and training from 1 September 2017 has been delayed.
While Tasracing remains committed to the idea of whip-free racing, interim measures will be put in place after consultation with industry.
Enhanced sky coverage for Tasmanian racing
Tasracing and Sky Racing have a long-standing partnership, having jointly invested significant time and effort into developing domestic and international markets for Tasmanian racing products.
While the exposure is obviously beneficial, increased income for the entire industry is the main driver behind this work.
Thanks to the strength of this relationship, Tasracing has been able to achieve some excellent outcomes for three harness and two thoroughbred code meetings – moving from their traditional timeslots to more high-profile times.
The Tasmanian Pacing Club (TPC) meetings originally scheduled for Sunday 3 September and Sunday 17 September have been moved to timeslots on Friday 1 September and Friday 15 September respectively to be broadcast on Sky 1.
And the Launceston Pacing Club Easter Cup meeting originally scheduled for Sunday 1 April has been moved to Saturday night (31 March) also on Sky 1.
In thoroughbreds, the Tasmanian Racing Club (TRC) Sunday 19 November meeting has been moved to Saturday 18 November (on Sky 2) while the TRC Sunday 11 March 2018 meeting will now run on Monday 12 March (long weekend and Adelaide Cup day) on Sky 1.
Welcome back Jason Maskiell
I am very pleased to be able to officially welcome back Tasmanian jockey Jason Maskiell to thoroughbred racing at the weekend.
Jason’s story is well-known to all within the industry, so it is just so pleasing that this outstanding talent is back to resume what was a promising racing career.
On behalf of everyone involved in racing in Tasmania, congratulations Jason, and good luck at the weekend.
Sprint lane at Elwick
Following a proposal from the TPC and consultation with the industry, the Tasracing Board approved the trial of a sprint lane at Elwick.
The trial will take place over 12 months commencing Friday 1 September 2017.
Results from the trial – and any effect on wagering – will be assessed prior to a permanent decision being made.
Thoroughbred and harness awards dinners
In closing, can I remind everyone about the thoroughbred and harness award dinners that will be held in September and October, respectively.
The 2017 Tasmanian Thoroughbred Racing Awards and Hall of Fame dinner will be held in the Ballroom at Country Club Tasmania in Launceston on 1 September.
The 2017 Tasmanian Harness Awards and Hall of Fame dinner will be held in Hobart on 7 October.