Racing NSW, the administrators of what should be the strongest racing in Australia, have shot themselves in the foot yet again as they desperately try to patch up the damage they have caused through pigheadedness and sheer incompetence over the past couple of decades.
Merging racing clubs is the latest buzz strategy in Australian racing - the two metropolitan race clubs in Brisbane were able to do it (purely logical considering the two racecourses were literally across the road from each other), so NSW thought they should follow suit. It gets complicated though because the AJC (Australian Jockey Club) think their shit doesn't stink and any form of 'merger' with the STC (Sydney Turf Club) would reek of a takeover. Amazingly, the AJC members all voted for the merger, as all the benefits would go to them, a $150m grandstand at Randwick. No surprise when the STC voted against the move because of concerns about one of their tracks, Canterbury, being sold off, and worries about key races at Rosehill being moved to Randwick to justify the new bohemiath of a grandstand.
The funniest part though is where the money was supposed to come from. NSW racing is broke. Peter V'Landys and his team of buffoons at Racing NSW are pissing away the lot in court fighting battles which just a basic understanding of competition laws tells you they can't possibly win. So rather than being funded by profits from racing, or from a government grant, the funding for this lavish new grandstand (designed to bring the crowds back to racing) has been posted by TABCorp, a supposedly independent body, in return for selling off their share of the profits in a virtual racing game, Trackside - which will encourage people to stay away from the track and bet on cartoons....
Trackside Bid Runs Off The Rails
The vote last night by Sydney Turf Club members against a merger with the Australian Jockey Club represents the latest in a string of calamities bedeviling the "crash through or crash" management of the industry by Racing NSW.
Characterised by an almost embarrassing subservience to the wishes of TabCorp and ignoring the requirement to consider the public interest set down in the Racing Administration Act, Racing NSW has been brought to account by a handful of STC members who basically said "we've had enough of this stupidity".
Two years ago we saw the race fields debacle unfold.
It wasn't enough for Racing NSW to bring in a payment arrangement for corporate bookmakers, Betfair and interstate TAB's. In collusion with TabCorp the race fields levy system was tricked up to put low margin operators out of business.
While the final appeal judgment is not yet to hand, the outcome is sufficiently uncertain that Racing NSW has had to go searching for a new pot of gold in the meantime.
If you have any interest in this issue, read the full story from Cyberhorse. It's unbelievable that a government-appointed racing body can be so arrogant and naive to think they can get away with such conduct, and outrageous that the government lets them get away with it....