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NSW Clubs "In Crisis Over Funding & Prize-Money"

Tuesday, 27th April 2010

Gosford Race Club chief executive James Heddo told The Sydney Morning Herald: “From the point of view of all race clubs, we are struggling to maintain prize-money levels set by Racing NSW. The Australian Jockey Club made a decision to lop $4 million off its prize-money list & it has been evident at the autumn carnival. That was just to balance the books & this is only a forerunner of things to come if a new funding model is not delivered. We put a $150,000 race on last Thursday for the industry, but there is no return to the club. We only received 8 acceptances for the Gosford Guineas & 2 horses were scratched.” The guineas meeting attracted fewer than 1,000 patrons & “proved a financial disaster” reported the newspaper. Heddo said there was “no incentive for race clubs to continue that level of feature race prize-money” noting: “Most race clubs in NSW, including ours, recorded significant losses last year & unfortunately this trend will continue until new revenue streams are achieved. I realise Racing NSW is working hard on securing revenue streams through its court battle with the corporate bookmakers but will it be enough? Going forward, there will need to be incentive & rewards for race clubs to put these feature races on with prize-money levels maintained.”

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