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Jumps Boss Blasts "Renegade Comments"
The Australian Jumping Racing Association "hit back at trainer Brian Johnston after he said jumps racing was declining under the weight of stringent key-performance indicators imposed by Racing Victoria," reported The Age in Melbourne. AJRA president Rodney Rae called Johnston's outburst "renegade comments which are not in the best interests of Victorian racing & not supported by the AJRA or the industry". Rae added: "I believe Johnston's comments are selfish, egotistical, counter productive to what everyone is trying to achieve & undermine the efforts of every single person in a difficult time." Johnston "cast considerable doubt on the future of the industry" after winning Saturday's Australian Steeple with Tarawera, describing targets set for jumping as always "unachievable" & declaring: "I blame the Jumps Racing Association for signing off on a deal that saw KPIs that were beyond the reach of jumps racing in Victoria."