Happy New Year and welcome to 2018.
While I appreciate that very few of us working in our industry get much of a break at this time of year, I do hope that you got to enjoy some time away from work to enjoy some much-needed downtime, even if only briefly.
As is usually the case, it has been a busy time.
In the lead up to Christmas Tasmania hosted a highly successful Hobart 1000 final for greyhounds and the Tasmania Cup.
And on New Year’s Day there were meetings at Longford (thoroughbreds), St Marys (harness), Launceston (greyhounds) and King Island (thoroughbreds and harness),
Pleasingly, there is much to look forward to in 2018.
Increased funding for the industry
The additional $1.24 million of industry funding across the three codes is set to be distributed between January and June – the allocation to thoroughbreds will increase by $678,000, by $325,000 for harness and $232,000 for greyhounds.
The $1.24 million increase follows an initial 6% funding allocation increase announced earlier in 2017/18.
Taking account of both increases, 70% of the total thoroughbred increases will be allocated to base stakes, 23% to mid-tier feature races and 7% to top-end feature races.
In the harness code, 82% will be allocated to base stakes, 14% to mid-tier races and 4%t to top end harness racing.
In greyhounds after consultation with the industry, Tasracing has initiated a number of new race series, including a trial program of distance racing from April 2018 to June leading into the winter distance carnival. Nearly $80,000 will also be available through stakes increases of $100 per race from 1 January 2018, and $110,000 for additional greyhound races.
Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival
The Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival officially starts tomorrow with the running of the 100th Devonport Cup at Spreyton.
I would like to congratulate the Devonport Racing Club for its ongoing hard work to make the day a success – and am very much looking forward to attending its 100th cup meeting.
Between 10 January and the end of February there are four carnival race days in Hobart and four race days in Launceston, culminating in the new Sky Racing Australian Female Jockey Championships.
While we certainly expect a number of interstate horses and their connections to confirm they are heading to Tasmania this summer, we are confident Tasmanian horses will be just as competitive as they have been in previous years.
The 3YO Classic on Launceston Cup day features a new naming rights partner – GBI Racing which digitally broadcasts UK and Irish racing to customers around the world
Tasmanian racing continues to be very popular in international jurisdictions thanks to Tasracing’s work with many different racing organisations around the world. This is the latest example of that work which not only improves our reach but also returns to industry.
A New Year provides an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and to plan for the year ahead.
Tasracing urges all participants to consider the safety of their staff and themselves.
These outstanding people employed in our industry work extremely hard to provide the racing product we all enjoy and their safety is of critical importance.
As previously stated, Tasracing supports the merger of Tatts and Tabcorp that was formally confirmed just before Christmas last year.
Under the merger, the Luxbet brand will be discontinued. The naming rights arrangements in place in Tasmania will be maintained but will change to the Sky Racing brand effective immediately.
Tasracing is looking forward to working with the combined wagering businesses to maximise returns to the industry.
Agreement with Tasmanian Jockeys Association
Tasracing and the Tasmanian Jockeys Association (TJA) have entered into a new four-year agreement effective 1 January 2018.
I would like to acknowledge the diligent and hard work of the TJA’s Kevin Ring and Tasracing’s Chief Operating Officer, Kim Elliott, in finalising the agreement’s details.
On behalf of everyone at Tasracing, I would like to formally welcome the following recent appointments to the organisation:
- Brand Manager Jackie Farrelly.
- Senior Web Developer James Mundy.
- Animal Welfare Manager Annie Knox.
- Executive Assistant to the CEO and CFO Carmen Worbey.