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Racing Australia Chair Seeks To Clarify Organisation's Role
Meanwhile, John Messara, Chairman of Racing Australia, has responded to concerns by industry stakeholders regarding the organisation, revealing that "Racing Australia will produce a document next week setting out its processes and consultation periods to help key stakeholders understand its role..." reports theage.com.au. The situation was, in part, sparked by trainer Peter Moody's public frustration (see above item) after being forced into a late scratching of one of his runners at Pakenham earlier this week. Attempting to engage positively with breeders, owners, jockeys, trainers and local associations, Messara pointed out that Racing Australia is the guardian of the sport. "Racing is a sport which doesn't handle change well but there are changes we need to make to take our sport into the future." Noting that the organisation "used to have a reputation as a bit of a toothless tiger," Messara commented, "We have given it a balance sheet and are trying to take the lead in making policy, so we will take control of our future and I think this is part of the growing pains. We have seen the scandals in other racing codes and we want to make sure that doesn't happen to our sport." Messara added, "We want Australian racing to have a reputation as drug-free and at the top of the world when it comes to rules and integrity. I think a lot of problems the trainers and jockeys have come because of a lack of understanding of our role and our processes. We need to give clarity to everyone and make it clear how we operate."