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Vic Country Saturday Axe "Will Force Jocks Out Of Industry"
Leading country rider Craig Robertson "fears the move by Racing Victoria to scrap Saturday provincial meetings for 3 months from next winter will force jockeys out of the industry" reported The Herald-Sun. Robertson said RV's move to abandon Saturday provincial TAB dates in June, July & August next year (to be replaced by Cranbourne Friday night meetings from October to April each season) was "another step backwards" & noted: "They got rid of non-TAB meetings, now they want to get rid of Saturdays. These meetings are bread-and-butter for those guys. They are not doing the right thing by the 'small' jockey." The winter meetings will be relocated to Sundays & Tuesdays & the Cranbourne Friday nights "will mean 2nd-tier jockeys will find it harder to get rides". Ballarat-based Robertson, 42, "feared those riders would be squeezed out" & emphasised while they were in demand on days such as New Year's Day, Australia Day, Easter, Melbourne Cup day & Boxing Day, "why would you a keep a job for 4 or 5 days' work? Who have they consulted?"