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UK Trainers Slam Pathetic Prize-Money

Monday, 3rd September 2007

UK trainer Charles Cyzer's "outspoken comments announcing his retirement have reignited the anger many trainers share over Britain's prize-money," declared racingpost.co.uk. Cyzer (who has saddled 300 winners in a 20-year career) said he will retire at the end of this season "because of the limited financial return" on his training business at Horsham in Surrey & noted the £120,000 (A$288,000) in prize-money he received in 2006 was "pitiful when compared to the stakes on offer in other countries". Echoing Cyzer's comments, prominent trainer Gerard Butler described prize-money in Britain as "pathetic, an embarrassment. We've got the strongest racing in the world & it's turned into the most expensive racing in the world, with the poorest prize-money in the world. Next year there are going to be 70-plus more race meetings & prize-money will be down." Gay Kelleway (who operates as trainer, driver, rider & administration assistant at her Suffolk base to keep afloat a 25-horse yard) noted: "I won more in 1 race in Dubai than I have done all year this season. It's a big problem & I think small trainers will become extinct. I train because I love horses & I'm very much a hands-on trainer. I would not be able to survive if I wasn't. Charles Cyzer is right about the prize-money. I feel like a hamster in a wheel. Everything's becoming more & more expensive. The small trainers with fewer than 60 horses will be extinct in 5 or 6 years' time." Classic-winning trainer Mark Johnston added: "Looking at racecourses, you may see more people coming in & there's more money being put into the sport, but the prize-money is worse & worse. We do well out if it, but who's to blame Charles Cyzer for getting out? His costs of administration & staff are rising all of the time." High-profile trainer Mick Channon commented: "No-one is listening, that's the frustrating thing. You can't keep the good horses in this country. The good horses are being sold abroad, which is frustrating. We need to keep the good horses in the country to keep the standard of racing up. I'm fully supportive of what Charles Cyzer has said. We don't want people like Charles to go, we want them to stay & enjoy it. Why have they got to go? It's so sad."

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