13 December 2005

Ruckus riles racing ranks

Breedingracing.com has done a tidy job paraphrasing media coverage of unrest in NSW racing ranks:
"Provincial Showdown With Racing NSW
Under the attention-grabbing headline 'Clubs Vent Anger Before Showdown Over TAB Funding', The Sydney Morning Herald reports: 'Racing NSW's plan to control $140 million in TAB funding to race clubs is set for an early showdown, with the regulator's chairman Gary Pemberton & chief executive Peter V'Landys meeting representatives of the 5 provincial clubs next Tuesday.' The newspaper reveals: 'Two hours have been set aside for the meeting at Racing NSW's Mascot bunker, with several provincial members concerned the ruling body is about to tear apart the TAB's financial distribution agreement. The provincial clubs (Hawkesbury, Wyong, Gosford, Newcastle & Illawarra) were asked for & submitted an agenda for the meeting, but Racing NSW informed the group time could prevent their issues from being discussed. The clubs wanted an update on Racing NSW's development of the Horsley Park equestrian centre, which is a financial drain on the State Government, as a training & education facility. Other issues included a mass exodus of quality staff from Racing NSW (including the recent departure of respected chief handicapper Mark Webbey, who was escorted off the Mascot premises), centralised race programming & continued speculation that the governing body was set to spend upwards of $10 million on an inner-city office block.' One 'influential raceclub committeeman' told the newspaper: 'Obviously their agenda is not ours. I suppose you could say they've come down from the mountain to talk to us, but we've been told we'll get an hour & a half if we are lucky. Many of us are certain they want to bash us on the head over benchmarking; they are trying to get their filthy mits on the raceclubs' money. To think they want to do as they see fit with TAB income. They want to hand out the money to whoever they wish. If they like you this week, you might get a few bob; don't like you, they'll punish you.' Stay tuned! "

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