THE racing industry has so far managed to avoid any major cutbacks as a result of the ailing Tasmanian economy _ but the day is surely coming.
Race club insiders are resigned to a significant cut in funding next season which will impact on stake levels and the number of race meetings.
One club source believes that Tasracing will have to reduce its expenditure by as much as $2 million, or about 7 per cent.
The cuts will be spread across all three codes.
Thoroughbred racing could also lose the generous subsidy paid to ``import'' riders from interstate.
If that happens, owners wanting to bring in mainland jockeys will have to pool resources and pay for the exercise themselves.
A leading harness racing official told The Examiner six months ago, after talks with Tasracing, that his code was facing an Leg 1inevitable cut in stakes of $500 a race.
``If they don't do it now, and let this situation go on for another 12 months, we could be looking at $1000 a race,'' he said.
Tasracing is sure to explore all options but the government will not allow it to continue losing money.
On the back of a substantial loss last financial year and predictions that its income for 2012-13 will fall well short of its Leg 2expenditure, cuts are inevitable, as they have been in almost every other sector of the community.
Those who rely on racing for a living will, quite rightly, expect Tasracing to start by reducing its own administration costs and forcing clubs to do the same.
But those savings alone won't be anywhere near sufficient.
Many predicted when the government formulated its new funding model for the racing industry _ so it could sell Tote Tasmania _ that it was always going to come up short.
Simply, there was not enough money in it.
They were right and the chickens are now coming home to roost.
TASMANIAN mare Beautiful Buns pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia after her first start for new trainer Nikki Burke at Bendigo on Saturday.
She has been barred from racing until she returns a satisfactory ECG result after exercising.
Beautiful Buns produced the biggest upset of the Tasmanian summer carnival when she won the $100,000 Vamos Stakes at Mowbray on February 20 after bookmakers bet 150-1.
IN AN unusual case, harness trainer Rod Plunkett and driver Craig Toulmin have been found guilty of ``associating with a disqualified person.''
Plunkett was fined $1000 and Toulmin $500, with half of both penalties suspended for 12 months.
Stewards found that they had contact with farrier John Willlett when he was shoeing a horse on their property in January.
At the time, Willett, a trainer-driver, had been under disqualification for not paying a fine.
The catch is that Willett was doing nothing wrong _ he doesn't require a licence to shoe horses _ and Plunkett and Toulmin said that they didn't know he was disqualified.
Stewards said that they took into account that Willett was merely a fine defaulter _ not disqualified for any integrity issue _ when imposing lighter than usual penalties.
TASMANIAN-OWNED pacer Delightful Christian has qualified for another rich New Zealand feature race after a runaway win in a heat of Nevele R 3YO Fillies Series at Alexandra Park on Friday.
The group 1 race has a $140,000 final at Addington in May.
Delightful Christian won a $150,000 race last June (although connections haven't been paid yet due to an on-going stewards' inquiry) and a $170,000 race last month.