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Nobody "Has Courage To Flip Death Switch On Jumps"

Tuesday, 3rd May 2011

No-holds-barred commentator Patrick Smith penned a provocative column in The Australian under the headline "The Real Obstacles To Racing's Survival". It declared bluntly: "Jumps racing is on life support but nobody has the courage to flip the switch." Smith goes on to assert: "Racing in general is losing ground by the meeting. It has become one of the nation's most inaccessible sports . . . . . The product has become diluted, humdrum & commonplace. Crowds are disappearing to television screens, iPads, online poker, but mostly to a lack of interest. . . . . Without an independent commission to run the sport & business at either state or national level, racing is shredded by self-interest. Without proper governance it has no chance of holding its ground, never mind expand its audience. The whip & jumps racing are just 2 obstacles the sport must do away with to enlarge its market." Smith concludes with the demand: "The federal government needs an urgent inquiry into every aspect of thoroughbred racing. Because the sport has lost the right to police itself." To read the full commentary, click on the link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand-side of this page.

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