Trainers, jockeys join push for better deal for racing industry

Trainers and jockeys have joined the call for a better deal from the state government for Tasmanian racing.

Australian Trainers Association executive John Alducci said the national body was hoping the Tasmanian industry could get similar support to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

“In Victoria, we are getting great assistance from the government as is the case in NSW, and now they’ve just announced a boost in carnival prizemoney in South Australia,” Alducci said.

“This is because of government help – and we need it in Tasmania.

“We need to sell it on the basis that the racing industry right across the board is a significant employer but we do need some assistance.”

Alducci said Tasracing was “doing a pretty good job under difficulties.

“It's the ridiculous (funding) system that they're working under that is the problem,” he said.

“We don’t think governments can just abandon a major employer and say you're on your own.”

Alducci said the most disturbing statistic in Tasmania was the drop in the number of mares going to stud – from 500 six years ago to about 250 – which painted a bleak picture of horse numbers in the future.

TASMANIAN Jockeys Association general manager Kevin Ring shared the ATA’s sentiments.

“To add to this, jockeys are paid well below their mainland counterparts – $15 less per ride – and trainers can't afford to pay wages to staff,” Ring said in a letter to all the major political parties.

DURESS: Troy Baker lifts Mr West (inside) to a narrow win over Flikpix at Spreyton on Sunday despite his saddle slipping. Picture: Greg Mansfield

DURESS: Troy Baker lifts Mr West (inside) to a narrow win over Flikpix at Spreyton on Sunday despite his saddle slipping. Picture: Greg Mansfield

“Less race meetings, less prizemoney, less horses, less income and a funding model that was never going to work and has now been reduced … these are all factors leading to a slow-decaying industry.

“It's a disgrace and there is no support from government at all.”

APPRENTICE Chantal Willis had her comeback from retirement temporarily halted at Spreyton on Sunday when she broke her collarbone.

Willis was riding Shockwave Miss when the six-year-old mare collapsed and died during the seventh race.

The jockey was lucky to escape more serious injury.

Willis has ridden three winners since returning from a two-year layoff.

JOCKEY Troy Baker showed great horsemanship to score on first-starter Mr West at Spreyton.

He was disadvantaged after his saddle slipped quite badly just after the start.

Chantal Willis

Chantal Willis

Baker was still able to lift Mr West to a short half head win over odds-on favourite Flikpix.

Flikpix’s rider Georgie Catania made amends later when she won on Kuusela in an equally tight finish.